It’s not easy being the Dewsbury Rams.
The Championship part-timers have enjoyed relative success under current coach Glenn Morrison, securing mid-table finishes over the last number of years despite working with a limited budget.
However, many pundits believe that this season could prove to be a year too far for the Rams, with many tipping them for relegation. A big factor in many of the pundits’ predictions is down to the loss of several key players, notably in the shape of Shane Grady, Joel Farrell and Dalton Grant.
However, Glenn Morrison is no stranger to this situation. Throughout his tenure, Morrison has seen a number of key players depart the club against his will, resulting in a re-building process on an annual basis.
To emphasise just how much talent the Rams have seen move on to bigger and better things, we’ve put together a team of former Dewsbury stars, and on paper, it is a team that would do extremely well in the Championship.
Fullback – Ryan Fieldhouse – After joining the club from Halifax, Fieldhouse became a standout star with an impressive try-scoring ratio. However, at the end of 2015, the fullback agreed a big deal with League 1 side Barrow, leaving Morrison on the lookout for a new fullback. Thankfully, the Rams recruited Josh Guzdek, who was exceptional last year.
Wing – Dalton Grant – Morrison saw potential in the winger following his spell at Barrow, and Grant joined Dewsbury ahead of the 2015 season. After 33 tries in 50 appearances in the last two seasons, London Broncos came calling, and Grant was on his way.
Centre – Shane Grady – After suffering relegation from Super League with London, Grady joined the Rams and became a pivotal performer. That was until Halifax offered him a deal last year, and that’s where he is now.
Centre – Sam Wood – The former Bradford youngster is a bit of an exception, as he was forced to leave the sport due to a number of injuries. Still, it was another player Dewsbury had to replace.
Wing – Scott Turner – One of few players on this list before Morrison took charge. Turner made a name for himself at Dewsbury before joining Sheffield in 2012, where he would win two consecutive Grand Finals. Currently in his second year at Featherstone Rovers.
Stand-off – Dom Brambani – Like Turner, Brambani was before Morrison’s time, but he showcased his talents very well during his spell at the Rams following a stint at Halifax. He joined Turner at Sheffield, where he tasted Grand Final success. He moved to Batley in 2016 and was shortlisted for the Championship’s player of the year award.
Scrum-half – Anthony Thackeray – The halfback was a renowned player at this level, making Dewsbury’s capture of him incredibly impressive in 2014. But after two years with the Rams, Featherstone were keen, and they snapped him up ahead of the 2016 season.
Prop – Anthony England – England’s career really took off at Dewsbury. After joining the club from Gateshead, England became one of the Championship’s most feared forwards during his spell at the Rams between 2010-2011. Yet again though, Featherstone lured him away. He currently plays for Wakefield.
Hooker – Matty Wildie – Yet another player to end up at Featherstone after impressing for Dewsbury. He joined the club in 2015 and was superb, and now is playing in an ambitious Rovers team.
Prop – Steve Crossley – Dewsbury fans must really dislike Featherstone. Crossley was a force to be reckoned with during 2012 as he dominated the Championship. However, Dewsbury couldn’t tie him down to a new contract, and he instead opted to join Fev.
Second-row – John Davies – Yet another player who ended up at Featherstone, albeit, he took a longer route than others. A short stint at the Rams was followed by a spell at Batley before joining Sheffield in 2015. A year later he joined the Rovers and won a number of awards at their end of season awards.
Second-row – Joel Farrell – One of the more recent departees on this list, Farrell left Dewsbury to join Batley at the end of last season. After breaking into the team in 2014, Farrell established himself in 2015, before backing that up with another solid campaign last year. Sadly for the Rams, he’s at their Heavy Woollen rivals now.
Loose-forward – Kyle Trout – The former Wakefield man also left Dewsbury at the end of the season, linking up with Sheffield.