Newly-promoted Dewsbury Rams have recruited Nathan Lawrence ahead of the 2024 season, giving a local lad the chance to impress in the Championship following a successful trial period.
The 28-year-old hails from Mirfield, the town between Brighouse and Dewsbury, and has impressed on trial over the last few weeks with Dale Ferguson’s side.
This is the utility’s first time in the more-recognised levels of the rugby league pyramid having played at amateur level in Australia for both Bathurst St Patrick’s and the Blayney Bears (Group 10 Rugby League).
Prior to his exploits Down Under, Lawrence had played for another local outfit in Dewsbury Celtic, who played in Division Two of the National Conference League this term.
Featuring primarily at centre, Lawrence represented Celtic right through from junior level to open age, and since his return to the UK has been donning a shirt for Ossett Rugby Union.
Dewsbury Rams take punt on exciting dual-code amateur star Nathan Lawrence, with experience Down Under
The Rams – who sealed an immediate return to the second tier for 2024 by winning the League 1 title this year – confirmed his signature last night.
In their announcement on the club website, Lawrence said: “I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to play at a high standard. The club is fantastic and the lads are a great set to be around. I’m looking forward to the challenge in 2024!”
Already mentioned, Dewsbury head coach Ferguson takes the hotseat at the FLAIR Stadium ahead of next season following the departure of Liam Finn to Halifax Panthers.
In the managerial merry-go-round, Finn himself replaced Simon Grix, who joined Super League outfit Hull FC as Tony Smith’s assistant, in turn replacing Gareth Ellis who has recently assumed a new position with the charity ‘Rugby League Cares‘.
Ferguson’s assistant coach at the FLAIR Stadium in 2024 will be Jaymes Chapman, who gave a resoundingly positive verdict on their newest recruit Lawrence.
Chapman, who was also an assistant to the now-departed Finn, added: “He’s impressed throughout several weeks of pre-season. He’s a strong ball carrier who can cover wing, centre and even full-back if necessary so he can cover several areas.
“He’s had the ability to fit straight in the team environment and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action.”