Gibson named new assistant

Wakefield v Castleford .8th August 2004.'Castleford's Damien Gibson
Wakefield v Castleford .8th August 2004.'Castleford's Damien Gibson

GLENN Morrison has named Damian Gibson as his new assistant coach as preparations for the new season continue to gather pace.

Richard Slater was initially appointed as Morrison’s right hand man but relinquished the role before pre-season training began having started a new job.

Gibson is an ex-Rhinos player and also had spells in Super League with Halifax, Castleford and Salford.

He has been at Leeds coaching the academy and is also assistant coach with Wales. Morrison said: “Damian has experience coaching at a successful club and he is a real asset to our coaching team.

“He had other job opportunities but liked what we are trying to do at Dewsbury and has accepted the role.”

It has been a hectic few days for Morrison and the Rams squad after a senior group of five players were appointed last week.

Familiar face in second row or centre Rob Spicer, scrum-half Scott Spaven and winger Austin Buchanan are in the group and are joined by newcomers Ryan Hepworth and Tommy Gallagher.

Although Morrison had ideas on which players he wanted to be in the group, the whole squad was given the chance to vote and these five topped the poll.

Morrison said: “I had ideas who I wanted in the group, with a mix of the new blokes and old ones and the boys selected that as well. These guys all have experience and leadership qualities which is what I was looking for.”

Buchanan’s recovery from knee surgery is going well and he is hoping to be back shortly after the start of the regular season.

The recent freezing weather has hampered a couple of training sessions but plans remain on course for the eagerly awaited Boxing Day derby at Batley.

Morrison added: “There are just three weeks to go, so we are getting pretty close and the lads are champing at the bit to be involved in the first game at Batley and do their best to earn a starting spot.

“It may only be a friendly but this will be the first time we are together as a group and it will be good to see how we gel.

“We won’t be 100 per cent and we wouldn’t want to peak in the pre-season games but everyone will be trying to impress to earn a start in the first game of the season.”