DEWSBURY RAMS have announced that they will have a dual-registration agreement in place with Super League side Hull Kingston Rovers next season.
The link-up will allow Dewsbury to bring players in from Hull KR on a week-by-week basis to complement their squad during the Championship season.
Rams players not featuring in the first team are also set to benefit from the arrangement by featuring in the Robins’ reserves team.
Dewsbury used no fewer than 44 players in competitive games last season, including 11 loan players from six different clubs.
With the club set to have a slimmer squad this season – 15 players have been confirmed for 2020 so far with another five deals complete and ready to be announced over the next two weeks – the Rovers partnership will help boost coach Lee Greenwood’s options.
“I think the partnership with Hull KR will work really well and be of great benefit to both clubs,” said the Rams boss.
“We are running with a smaller squad this year so it will be helpful to be able to call on whichever players (Hull KR head coach) Tony Smith and (head of youth) John Bastian make available.
“KR have a reserves team too which will allow some of our squad members to get game time when necessary. I think this partnership comes at an exciting time for both clubs as we look to be as competitive as possible in our respective divisions.
“We used a lot of loan players from different clubs last season, which caused disruption. I believe this agreement is a much better alternative for us.
“For some of our players, they could potentially impress the Hull KR staff and follow in the footsteps of Kyle Trout, who has earned himself a Super League contract after moving to KR from Dewsbury.”
Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer said: “I’d like to say how excited I am that we can work with Hull KR in this way. It gives ourselves as a club and Lee as a head coach different options for players.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming 2020 campaign and to see where this partnership takes us.”
Bastian says that his Hull KR prospects will use the opportunity to play for Dewsbury next season as a step between playing for their reserves and their first team.
“Those that do go out to Dewsbury Rams will see it as a step up from our reserve grade, and significant for their progress,” he said. “Our players have to take it seriously as the Championship division takes no prisoners.
“This partnership makes sense and Dewsbury will be competitive next year. Lee Greenwood is building himself a good portfolio as a coach. Any player that does go out on dual-reg will need to impress him to show that they are capable of the Championship and ready to then go onto Super League.”
The Rovers link-up means that Dewsbury have no urgent needs on the recruitment front, with at least 20 players contracted for next season.
Greenwood says that he is not currently in negotiations with any other potential recruits, but would like to bring in at least two more first-team players.
“I’m not absolutely desperate if we didn’t bring anyone in to be honest. If we were to have a game tomorrow we’ve got a capable team to put out,” he said.
“In an ideal world I’d like to bring in two more that strengthen our starting 17, but if those players aren’t out there then I won’t panic and get anybody in.”