Dewsbury consider taking year off to solve cash crisis

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The Independent Online

Dewsbury, who earned the right to apply for Super League when they won the Northern Ford Premiership four years ago, are in danger of not starting next season because of their financial plight.

The Rams, relegated from National League One, have a £50,000 shortfall in their funding and their chairman, Mark Sawyer, has said they may take a year out to regroup unless their fans rally round at a meeting this Thursday.

The Rugby League says it is "watching the situation with concern" and has put Dewsbury in touch with its Club Support Unit, which specialises in helping clubs through crises. "But there is no precedent for a club taking a year off," an RFL spokesman said. "Dewsbury would probably have to resign their membership."

The League is waiting for applications to join National League Three from Bridgend and Carlisle, who contested the Rugby League Conference Grand Final on Sunday.

The former professional club, Bramley, also hopes to re-form and play in that competition next year. "We don't see their [Bridgend and Carlisle] applications as a threat," the Bramley chairman, Lee Spracklen, said. "We're very optimistic about our own bid and we'd love to be playing them next season."

Wigan could find out today whether Andy Farrell and Adrian Lam face lengthy absences after scans on injuries.

Wakefield have signed the New Zealand forward, David Solomona, from Parramatta.

The Australia coach, Chris Anderson, has named Mark Gasnier, Shaun Timmins and Luke Bailey in his initial 12-man training squad for the Ashes series this autumn. The three St George Illawarra players have all been battling injury. Bryan Fletcher, who had said he would not tour, is also included.