Dewsbury the latest club to ditch reserve grade

Dewsbury Rams have followed in the footsteps of Featherstone Rovers and withdrawn their reserve side for the remainder of 2016.

The club cited ‘growing challenges’ as the reason behind their decision before further explaining that the disrupted scheduling and player retention were two major factors in the outcome.

A club spokesperson said: “This difficult decision has been taken as a result of the current structure of the game at Reserves level and the difficulties this creates.

“We have found it increasingly difficult in these last few weeks to attract young players to the club, due to only being able to guarantee occasional fixtures, which themselves aren’t a part of a formalised league format.

“The withdrawal of Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers earlier in this season has impacted on the fixture schedule, to the extent that the Reserves had only played four games so far this season, despite the players having been in training for several months.”

It continued: “As winners of the 2015 Reserves Championship Grand Final, and having benefited greatly from the Reserves concept in terms of player development during the last 18 months, the Rams strongly advocate the return of a more consistent and sustainable competition for 2017.

“Should plans of this nature be put in place for next season then serious consideration will be given to the re-introduction of a Dewbury Rams Reserves team.”