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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Ex-Hull star reckons Workington Town have what it takes for the Championship

Former Hull FC star Ewan Dowes reckons Workington Town have what it takes to hold their own in the Championship next season.

Ewan Dowes photo
Ewan Dowes

Prop Dowes, 31, a veteran of 294 Super League appearances with the Humberside outfit, a Challenge Cup winner and the holder of one precious England cap, signed a two-year deal with Town recently, and underwent his second training session with the club last night.

Only 14 months ago, he played his last game for Hull, albeit a Super League Play-Off defeat at the hands of eventual winners Leeds Rhinos.

Dowes recently returned from a season Down Under where he played with Thirroul Butchers in the Illawarra Division, where he tasted a Grand Final victory, also playing for Illawarra Cutters in the New South Wales Cup. He returned to his Low Hesket home just a couple of months ago with his wife Amy and son Ethan.

“I’ve really enjoyed my short time with Town - they’re a great set of lads,” said Dowes.

“I already know Gary [joint coach Charlton] though playing for Cumbria and it’s been good to meet the likes of Martin [joint coach Oglanby] and Butch [assistant coach Craig Barker].”

It’s been quiet a contrast, from Australian conditions to training in the icy west Cumbrian conditions in the English winter, but he added: “It’s been great and I’d rather train in the cold than the wet.

“But what has impressed me is the talent within the Town ranks. I looked at the players they signed and did a bit of homework and there are a lot of very good players.

“Hooker Graeme Mattinson has stood out. He’s an excellent young talent and looks very sharp out of dummy half. And there’s also former amateur Callum Phillips who has just signed and doesn’t look out of place at training. Callum is very sharp going forward and he can hopefully flourish at Championship level. They can both become very talented players.”

Dropping out of full-time rugby has taken a bit of getting used to, and Dowes added: “When you’re playing part-time you have a lot more to cram in to, say, three training sessions a week.

“Things couldn’t have started better. There’s quite a bit of conditioning to get in yet with the season starting in Ferbruary, and it’s going to be a tough challenge.

“But I’ll be ready and can’t wait to get stuck in. I think we have what it will take to do well in the Championship next season.”

Town begin their Championship season with a trip to Steve McCormack’s Swinton Lions on Sunday, February 3, just over nine weeks away.

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