DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt faces a selected dilemma ahead of the Rams’ opening Co-operative Championship game at home to York City Knights on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
Several players could return from injury and with others hitting form in last week’s 32-10 Northern Rail Cup victory over Rochdale, Jowitt is likely to have a strong squad to pick from.
Nick Fozzard has missed two games with a shoulder injury but it is hoped he will recover to make his Championship bow.
New signing John Davies is fit after a shoulder strain sustained at Oldham a fortnight ago and could also figure, while hooker George Flanagan could be recalled having made just one substitute appearance in the cup.
Jowitt said: “I have a bit a selection headache. Far too often last year it was easy to pick the team from who was available but I am spoilt for choice this week.
“I have three good hookers vying for two spots, as I always put one on the bench. Flanagan had not been performing but he could feature this week.”
Centre Ryan Esders, who was among Dewsbury’s try scorers against Rochdale, came off with a back injury but is desperate to play against his former club.
Cain Southernwood is around three weeks away from playing as he recovers from wrist surgery, while Rob Spicer is around a fortnight off returning.
Jowitt added: “The Northern Rail Cup has served a purpose for us and we are where I wanted us to be at this stage. Having Patch Walker back was a massive boost and Scott Spavin linked up well with him.
“Spavin is only 21, so has not got much experience, but he is showing a fair amount of promise. Rochdale was all about getting the little things right, which we did in the main.
“York will be different and I am expecting a bruising encounter as they have a tough forward pack but we have the advantage of being at home and if we can do what I know we are capable of, there is no reason why we can’t win.”
Josh Tonks has been in terrific form and his stint against Rochdale was typified by a superb try-saving tackle as the Rams led 32-0.
Jowitt said: “Josh Tonks has been here since he was 16 years old and has come through the ranks. He has worked hard for three years and now knows he has a job to do and we are scoring points off the back of his work.
“I was also really pleased with Jamaine Akaidere. He scored two tries and set up another and he has done more than enough to keep his place in the side.”
Dewsbury’s defensive effort was also admirable as they made a staggering 272 tackles during the game.
After the York game, the Rams visit promoted Swinton Lions on March 18 and these games provide a chance to get their league campaign off to a fine start.