DEWSBURY RAMS have continued their recruitment for next season with three more confirmed signatures, including winger Davey Dixon and forward Connor Scott.
Both players are stepping up from League One with 22-year-old Dixon preparing for his first taste of Championship rugby after three years with Keighley, while former Sheffield prop Scott, 26, has signed from Doncaster.
They will be joined in 2020 by back-rower Liam Johnson, 22, who has been given a new deal following an injury-ravaged first year at the club.
The three signings take Dewsbury up to 21 confirmed players next season and while no further deals are believed to have been completed, chairman Mark Sawyer has said that there is still a healthy amount of the playing budget left to be spent on further recruits.
Dixon, a Scottish international, scored 16 tries in 50 matches on the wing for Keighley, and follows in the footsteps of another speedy winger, Andy Gabriel, who made the same move last year and impressed in the Championship.
“Davey has a lot of potential to succeed at this level and possibly higher,” said Rams coach Lee Greenwood. “He is young but has played regularly against men and has done well.
“He is an accomplished finisher and is happy to come in and help the team go forward.
“Despite representing Scotland this autumn, he will slot straight into the start of our pre-season which says a lot about his character and determination to do well here.
“He knows the challenges of stepping up a division and the competition he will have, but he is confident in his own ability which is good.”
It will be a second spell in the Championship for Scott, who made his debut for Sheffield in 2011 but only played 12 matches before a move to Doncaster in 2016.
In his four seasons with the Dons he made 80 appearances, scoring 18 tries, and Greenwood says Scott has earned his move back to the second tier.
“I’m really pleased to get Connor in,” he said. “I wanted to add a bit of size to our front-row options and he does that.
“He’s played a lot of games at League One level and I’ve always thought he was a player that had the potential to play higher.
“He’s got that opportunity now and like the majority of the squad in place, he is here for rugby reasons.
“He is committed to working hard in pre-season and give it his best shot for Dewsbury. He knows there is a lot of competition for places in our pack but he’s backing himself to train and play his way into the team.
“I think he is coming into his prime now and this move has come at the right time for him.”
The Rams have also bolstered their options in the pack with the re-signing of Johnson, who suffered a ruptured achilles last pre-season following his signing from Huddersfield.
He was expected to miss the whole year with the horror injury but managed to return to play the final three games of the 2019 campaign, impressing Greenwood enough to earn a new deal.
He said: “I thought Liam did well when he came into the team considering the length of time he had been out.
“After a very disrupted last two years for him, he is looking forward to a full pre-season and hopefully an injury-free season.
“His attitude was the thing that impressed me while he was injured, attending every session and game and helping out where possible.
“He likes it here and wants to show people what he can do. With plenty of hard work over the next few months he can become a quality back rower at this level.”
Dewsbury intend to play only three friendly fixtures ahead of the 2020 season.
The Rams will face Batley on Boxing Day and Bradford at the Tetley’s Stadium, with the club in talks with a Lancashire-based Championship club for one further game in January.