Lee Greenwood previews Dewsbury Rams' Championship season - plus star man, ins and outs, title odds and key number

DEWSBURY RAMS will not start looking towards the Championship play-offs in 2021 until they are safe from relegation, insists head coach Lee Greenwood.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 6:00 am
HEAD COACH: Lee Greenwood. Picture: SWpix.com.
HEAD COACH: Lee Greenwood. Picture: SWpix.com.

The Rams enjoyed a flying start to the curtailed 2020 campaign, winning three of their four league games before play was brought to a halt.

That run included victories over Halifax and Widnes Vikings, teams with a much larger budget than the Rams, but Greenwood says the first priority this year is to stay clear of the bottom two.

“For the clubs with the lower budgets, your first priority is to get enough points so you don’t get relegated,” he said.

ONE TO WATCH: Reiss Butterworth. Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald.

“It sounds negative but unfortunately that is how it is with differences in budget. That is the first priority.

“Once that is done, you start looking up and seeing what else you can do in the division, whether that is a top-half finish or reaching the play-offs.”

It will be a season like no other, with the campaign starting behind closed doors owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

There are hopes that fans can return in limited capacity from May 17 but the pandemic could still prove disruptive if any players test positive for coronavirus. Dewsbury kick off their

Championship campaign at home to Whitehaven before finishing off April with away games at Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls.

Greenwood continued: “This season there are a lot of different things to factor in; the amount of time we have had off with no game, other clubs have spent more money than they have previously and there are different rules.

“There is also no crowds and all the procedures you need to put in place, along with the difference in pre-season.

“Training has not been how anybody would want it but you have to do it so that you can train.

“To try and predict where you are going to finish is difficult because you don’t know what your own players are going to be like, never mind everybody else.

“We want to do enough to not be in the bottom two, get that done as early as we can and then look upwards.”

Greenwood has been pleased by the club’s recruitment but revealed there is money available should he want to strengthen further.

“We are happy with where we are at numbers-wise and how we have trained but that is different from getting on the field and performing,” he added.

“We have got funds available to bring additions in, whether that is on loan or on a permanent deal.

“We have got good cover in every single position. We have got some young lads who are stepping up or haven’t played Championship rugby before.

“Until you get those early games in, you are never quite sure.”

DEWSBURY RAMS 2021

Ins: Jamie Abram (Free agent), Reiss Butterworth (Huddersfield Giants), Lewis Carr (Castleford Tigers), Reece Chapman-Smith (Halifax), Brad Clavering (Coventry Bears), Tom Garratt (Free agent), Bayley Liu (West Wales Raiders), Will Oakes (Hull Kingston Rovers), Jordan Schofield (Wakefield Trinity), Keenan Tomlinson (Batley Bulldogs), Joe Wardill (Free agent), Aaron Hall (Free agent), Jamie Greenwood (Free agent)

Outs: Tommy Brierley (Oldham), Sonny Esslemont (Released), Liam Johnson (Doncaster), Luke Nelmes (Oldham), Morgan Punchard (Released), Martyn Reilly (Oldham), Dom Speakman (Released)

Last year: 6th place (after four games)

Player to watch: Reiss Butterworth - The former Huddersfield Giants hooker could prove a shrewd signing for the Rams, who have recruited in large numbers.

Odds to win Championship - 66/1