DEWSBURY RAMS have added to their squad for the 2020 season with the signing of Welsh forward Rhys Davies.
Primarily a second-rower, Davies has impressed sufficiently on trial at the Championship club to earn a permanent deal, becoming the 26th player to commit to the club for the new campaign.
The 23-year-old has previously played for South Wales and was in Halifax’s reserve side last season, appearing once for the first team in the 1895 Cup.
“Rhys fully deserves to be rewarded after working hard and impressing in training,” said head coach Lee Greenwood.
“Through a combination of playing for us, Coventry Bears on dual registration or for Hull KR reserves, he will get plenty of game time which will see him develop.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him play at Keighley in our next friendly and he will be competing for a place in the 17 like everyone else. He has the potential to play at Championship level if he really wants it.”
The Rams face Keighley on January 12 in the second of their three scheduled pre-season fixtures, after they couldn’t be separated from local rivals Batley Bulldogs on Boxing Day.
The sides drew 14-14 at the Tetley’s Stadium in the annual festive fixture, and Greenwood lamented his side’s inability to land a drop-goal in the final two minutes after ex-Ram Dale Morton had levelled the scores with a penalty.
“We had a good few chances and I’d like to think we could have put the one-pointer over, but everything you don’t want to do when you go for a one-pointer, we did, and we lost the chance,” he reflected.
“Batley have got a lot of seasoned campaigners in there, particularly the forwards, and I thought some of our guys who haven’t played Championship regularly stood up quite well to them.
“Physically and fitness-wise I’m quite happy with where we are. Ball-in-hand, in the first half going towards their line was pretty poor. We need to improve massively.
“We strung a few good things together after half-time which I felt was basic rugby done well, but then we just went away from it and conspired to keep making mistakes.”
Nevertheless, the boss is seeing signs of improvement on where they were 12 months ago, when they lost the Boxing Day contest in his first game in charge.
“I’d say there were some things better than last Boxing Day,” said Greenwood. “Certainly the training and the approach of the lads before the game, and the talk and positivity during and after the game was better than the group we had last year. We want that to transfer into results.”
But he added: “It’s given us plenty of food for thought. We will be working hard on every area of our game but certainly some where we weren’t very good, that generally need to be better to have a chance of winning Championship games.
“A few lads will be disappointed with themselves today but it is Boxing Day and the effort was there.”
Dewsbury reported no injury concerns after the game but could be boosted by returns for full-back Joe Martin (ankle) and versatile forward Chris Annakin (groin) in time for their trip to face the Cougars.