Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood will have "decisions to make" ahead of Championship opener against Whitehaven

DEWSBURY RAMS head coach Lee Greenwood admits he will have plenty to think about when he picks his team to face Whitehaven next weekend.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:00 am
Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 14/04/2019 - Rugby League - Coral Challenge Cup - Thatto Heath Crusaders v Dewsbury Rams - Hatton Solicitors Crusader Park, Thatto Heath, England - Dewsbury coach Lee Greenwood.

The Rams open their Championship campaign against the Cumbrian outfit on April 3, two weeks after being knocked out of the Challenge Cup by the same opponent.

Greenwood’s side were beaten 23-16 in Cumbria in the first round of the competition last weekend, despite the hosts playing with 12 men for over half the game.

The Dewsbury boss is hoping to welcome a host of players back for the clash at the Tetley’s Stadium, with some key men likely to return.

He said: “Chris Annakin was suspended last week but he isn’t anymore. Bailey Liu was out due to concussion protocol last weekend but he will be fine.

“Jason Walton should be available for that one. Joe Wardle just missed out, along with Davey Dixon, Jamie Abram, Jamie Greenwood and other guys who played in the friendlies.

“There is plenty to think about.”

He continued: “We are not blessed with a big squad, in the sense that we have people who have played at this level and have shown they can really do it week in, week out. We are big on numbers overall but when you look at people who have done it at the higher level, it is not that many.

“So we need all the players who have proven they are capable of playing at this level available.”

Paul Sykes was forced off against Whitehaven with a hamstring problem but everyone else who featured last weekend came out unscathed.

Greenwood added: “Paul Sykes came off with his hamstring late on, so we will see how he is this week.

“Everyone else came out fine and there are a few players who could come in and be available.”

Dewsbury’s Championship opener with Whitehaven next weekend will be their first game at the Tetley’s Stadium for 13 months.

The Rams last outing on home soil was a 20-8 victory over Widnes Vikings on March 1, 2020 and Greenwood is looking forward to getting back on familiar territory.

“We haven’t played there since beating Widnes over a year ago,” he added.

“We finished with three away games last year and we haven’t played any friendlies on it. For some of the players it will be their first game there.

“Playing Whitehaven at home, you would certainly choose that over playing Whitehaven away.”