HEAD COACH Glenn Morrison is backing dual-registered hooker Adam O’Brien to lead his Dewsbury Rams into battle this weekend following a further injury setback.
Ryan Wright, a former Bradford Bulls teammate of O’Brien, sustained a torn bicep during the Rams’ second-straight Championship victory last Sunday.
And according to Australian Morrison the 21-year-old, who only recently overcame an ankle injury, could have made his last appearance for the club in 2013.
“Since Ryan has been back from injury we haven’t lost and when he was out we couldn’t win, he has been a bit of a lucky charm for us,” said the former Super League and NRL star.
“The injury is going to need surgery and he is probably going to be out long-term.
“It is perhaps too soon to say whether or not we will see him again this year, these sorts of injuries are hard to judge, but it certainly isn’t looking good at this stage.
“It’s a massive blow for us. He is a fantastic talent and a key member of the squad.
“We have been lucky having Adam (O’Brien) available for the vast majority of the season and his presence is going to be vital as we head towards the closing stages.
“We just have to hope Bradford continue to offer his services to us, he is going to have to play an even greater role now.
“Tebby (Matthew Tebb) and Schoey (Jonathan Schofield) are obviously now in contention. Both of them have been itching for a run-out and one of them will get a chance this weekend.
“We have had a settled side for the past few weeks now and that has definitely helped us, both on game day and in terms of our preparation.
“Our confidence is up again and I sense the buzz is finally back among the players. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing really well for the past few weeks.
“I am really proud of the boys and the way in which they have turned things around. The pressure was on and they have delivered despite adversity.
“The form book will fly out of the window on Sunday, it is a local derby and anything goes. I have played in plenty in my career and no-one cares about position on the ladder, form, injuries or anything like that.
“For sure we are coming up against a strong Batley side, but we have good reason to believe after the way we performed against Halifax.”
Austin Buchanan (knee), Rob Spicer (ankle) and Josh Tonks (knee) are all looking likely to miss Sunday's trip to arch-rivals Batley through injury.
Though Morrison has moved to strengthen his ranks, with the capture of Jobe Murphy from Super League partners Bradford.
Murphy, 20, has already featured for the Tetley’s Stadium outfit this term. But a deal has been struck between the two parties, which allows the back-rower to train with both clubs while turning out for Dewsbury on a regular basis.
Morrison added: “It’s is great to have Jobe on board permanently as it makes sure of his availability to us. I fully believe he can become a Super League player in the future and it is great for us that he will be still training with Bradford too.
“He’ll provide us with some good cover in the back-row while our injuries get ironed out. He’s strong going forward and aggressive in defence.”
Three-quarter Elliot Cosgrove, meanwhile, has joined Keighley Cougars for an undisclosed sum.
The Ireland international had struggled to tie down a first-team starting spot and has opted to re-join the club he enjoyed a successful loan spell with earlier this year.