Dewsbury Rams could receive a boost from dual-registration neighbours Wakefield Trinity ahead of Sunday’s opening Kingstone Press Championship game away to promoted Rochdale Hornets.
The Rams were down to 17 fit players for last week’s final pre-season friendly at Leigh Centurions but the squad performed well and could be in line to be bolstered this weekend.
Wakefield have indicated that up to four players could be sent to Dewsbury, with Trinity’s Super League kick off not until the following week.
Keegan Hirst, who previously had a spell at Dewsbury and joined Wakefield from Batley in the close season, could turn out for the Rams at Rochdale, along with Mason Caton-Brown, David Fifita and Max Jowitt.
Caton-Brown played in Trinity’s 30-26 pre-season win over Dewsbury last month, while Fifita and Jowitt are recovering from close season operations.
Although the Rams were beaten 36-4 at Leigh, coach Glenn Morrison was pleased with his side’s effort, especially in the first half when they only trailed 10-4.
Morrison said: “We only had 17 fit players. We had a few young ones in there and a few boys playing out of position, but they really stepped up.
“Leigh had a strong side out and it was 10-4 at half-time, which was pretty spot on. We completed at 90 per cent in the first half.
“In the first 25 minutes of the second half we completed at 33 per cent and they scored some tries on us.
“We pulled it back in the last few minutes, but not enough – but it was a confidence-boosting performance for us.”
Trinity coach Chris Chester has indicated he will be at Rochdale to see his dual registration players in action for the Rams as he prepares for Wakefield’s Super League opener against Hull FC on February 12.
Chester said: “We’ll probably dual-reg’ Keegan and Mason to get a game under their belt and maybe David Fifita and Max Jowitt as well. It will be chance for them to put their hand up for the Hull game.”
One player who will not feature at Rochdale is winger Donald Kudangirana, who has been suspended from the club after allegedly failing a drugs test.
Kudangirana made two appearances for the Rams last year and had featured in all four of Dewsbury’s pre-season games.
A Rams statement said: “Dewsbury Rams have been informed by the RFL that Donald Kudangirana has failed a drugs test. He is suspended from the club until he attends a RFL hearing.”