DEWSBURY have lost out in the race to sign loose forward Kyle Briggs, with Sheffield Eagles swooping in with an offer that the Rams couldn’t match.
The 26-year-old made four appearances for the Tetley’s Stadium club and scored two tries in his recent loan spell from Featherstone.
A former Super League player with Bradford Bulls, the Rams worked hard to put an offer together to keep Briggs on board. Ahead of Sunday’s Championship clash at Whitehaven (3pm), chairman Mark Sawyer said: “Kyle’s loan period finished this week and we had been negotiating with Kyle and with Featherstone to sign him for the next 18 months.
“We agreed terms with Featherstone which would have kept Kyle’s contract intact on his Featherstone terms until the end of 2015. But unfortunately Sheffield made an offer which is 50 per cent higher.
“Sheffield were quite within their rights to make an offer and it is hardly surprising that Kyle chose to accept it.
“We wish Kyle all the best for the future and I’d like to thank the individuals and sponsors who helped to put together a package to try to bring Kyle to the club.”
Meanwhile, coach Glenn Morrison is waiting to hear whether Scotland international back Ben Hellewell will be fit to travel to Whitehaven, after he dislocated his finger in last week’s game.
Hellewell, 22, joined the Rams from parent club Featherstone Rovers on a one-month loan and was thrown straight into action at the Tetley’s Stadium just days after the deal was agreed.
Morrison said: “In the first half we were probably a little bit down on what we needed to be, but we worked hard for each other, spoke at half-time about upping our intensity and kicking on, and we did that well after the break.
“We’ve now got through a tough period, but we’ve got to make sure we take every game as a big one.”
He added: “Whitehaven have been playing some good footy. They’ve some quality players and they’re getting good results of late.
“They’re saying in the press that they want to kick on, so we’ve got to be ready for everything they can throw at us come Sunday afternoon.”
In other news, winger Dale Morton has signed a new deal which will keep last year’s Man of Steel at the club until at least the end of the 2015 season.
Morton, 23, has scored 19 tries in 51 appearances for Dewsbury since following Glenn Morrison to the Tetley’s Stadium from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Aaron Brown has also signed a new deal until at least the end of 2015.
Brown, a loose forward or stand-off, has been rated as one of the most talented young players in the Championship since joining ahead of the 2013 season.
A former Waterhead amateur player who joined the Rams from Leeds Rhinos Academy, Brown is currently sidelined with a ligament injury sustained in the Challenge Cup defeat to Wigan in April.
But Morrison believes the player will be back better than ever before next season. “Aaron is a star of the future,” said Morrison.
“He’s out with a long-term injury at the moment, but we believe he’ll be back bigger and better next year.
“We were happy to show faith in him after he showed faith in us by signing up last year.”
Brown and Morton become the fourth and fifth players to commit their future to the Rams following Anthony Thackeray, Tommy Gallagher and Shane Grady, who have already signed new contracts.
Picture by Steve Horsfall