dewsbury rams are aiming to turn Friday the 13th into fright night for rivals Sheffield Eagles.
Rams face their bogey team in the opening game of the Kingstone Press Championship tonight (8pm).
The sides have met seven times over the past two seasons and Eagles have won them all, but Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison is confident his men can clip the visitors’ wings this time.
“They’ve had the better of us over the last two years since I’ve been here,” Morrison said.
“It’s Friday the 13th and some people think it’s unlucky, but it is my lucky number so hopefully we can break the hoodoo.”
Rams will be at full-strength other than long-term casualties Greg Scott, Stephen Nash and Ryan Fieldhouse.
Morrison said: “I’ve spoken to a few people and they were disappointed to miss out, but we have got a strong squad and they know they’ve got to stay on their toes to try and get in there.
“I think I’ve picked the right 17 to do a job.”
Opening the competition is a big occasion for Rams and Morrison added: “We are ready for it and we are excited.
“The club has done wonders with promotions for season ticket holders from other clubs and we want to get as many people through the gate as we can to kick off the new structure and the new season.
“We’ve done all we can to get into good shape for this game, it has been the focus all through pre-season and we want to make sure we start well.”
Meanwhile, Batley Bulldogs will be without former Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves forward Lee Mitchell for Sunday’s Championship round-one visit of Workington Town (3pm).
“He has developed tonsillitis, which is a bit of a blow,” coach John Kear said.
“He has missed a couple of training sessions, so I am not going to consider him.
“Brad Hey broke a foot in pre-season. He is fit now, but he has not played in the trial games so he won’t be considered.
“Keegan Hirst (foot) has an outside chance of playing against Hunslet next week and he’s a certainty for Halifax the week after that, if he keeps progressing the way he is.
“Apart from that we are in rude health, as we should be at this stage.”
Featherstone Rovers and Hunslet Hawks are due to meet on Monday (7.30pm) at Wakefield’s Belle Vue, in a game moved to a netural venue due to problems with the Big Fellas Stadium pitch.
Hawks could include winger James Duckworth and utility-player Luke Briscoe, who both joined them for the 2015 season from Leeds Rhinos yesterday.
The pair featured for Hunslet last year on short-term deals and Rhinos chief execuitive Gary Hetherington said: “They are not contracted to us, but remain in our sights for 2016.”
Rovers have no injury concerns, but are still awaiting the arrival of imports Ryan Verlinden and Reni Maitua, who have been delayed in Australia by passport and visa issues.