RFU Championship News

November 23rd

RFU Championship News 23rd November


RFU Championship News Friday 23rd November 2012

Round 10 Teams & Previews
Plus news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Friday 23 November 2012
Bedford v Cornish Pirates 19:45   BBC Three Counties Radio     BBC Radio Cornwall

Saturday 24 November 2012
Jersey v Newcastle 15:00   BBC Radio Jersey
London Scottish v Moseley 12:15
Plymouth Albion v Bristol 15:00   BBC Radio Bristol
Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie 14:00   BBC Radio Leeds

Sunday 25 November 2012
Nottingham v Doncaster 15:00



RFU Round 10 Preview

RFU Championship Stats To Round 9

Bedford v Cornish Pirates - Friday 19:45

Bedford Blues Cornish Pirates Bedford v Cornish Pirates 
Friday 23rd November
Goldington Road
Kick Off 7:45pm

BBC Three Counties Radio
BBC Radio Cornwall


Following a much welcomed weekend off – well for most of the squad anyway – Bedford Blues return to Championship action for a Friday night under the lights contest against Cornish Pirates at Goldington Road.

After coming from behind to pinch the win at Castle Park a fortnight ago, the Blues are looking to make it two wins in a row but know that will be a huge task against the always tough Pirates.

Bedford will be without captain and top points scorer James Pritchard who will be facing the Maori All Blacks with Canada in Oxford. Ollie Dodge (knee), Chris Locke (knee) and James Stephenson (toe) are all still missing with injury.

The Blues make six changes to the team which defeated Doncaster with Darren Fearn, Neil Cochrane and Phil Boulton starting in the front row in place of Ricky Reeves, Scott Spurling and Dan Seal who all move to the bench.

Sacha Harding takes the captain’s armband and starts at openside flanker, Ben Gulliver starts against his former employer in the second row while Luke Baldwin gets the nod at scrum half.

Bedford Blues
15. Mark Atkinson  14. Mark Kohler 13. Brendan Burke 12. Henry Staff
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Luke Baldwin
1. Darren Fearn 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Phil Boulton 4. Mike Howard
5. Ben Gulliver 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Sacha Harding (c) 8. Paul Tupai

16. Scott Spurling, 17. Ricky Reeves, 18. Dan Seal, 19. Alex Rae
20. Darren Fox, 21. Darryl Veenendaal, 22. Ian Vass.

Cornish Pirates

Despite this being a second versus sixth contest, a close game is expected as the Cornish Pirates will be keen to follow their recent 53-21 trouncing of Rotherham with another good performance.

Following last Saturday’s RFU Championship XV game against the Maori All Blacks, it will be a case of forged friendships being put aside for a moment.

Coaches Mike Rayer of Bedford Blues  and Ian Davies of Cornish Pirates worked well together for that particular game, whilst players Josh Bassett, Luke Baldwin, Jake Sharp and Mark Atkinson  - Bedford Blues, alongside Gavin Cattle, Alan Paver and Phil Burgess - Cornish Pirates,  were squad members who competed to give their all.

Wes Davies is presently suffering with a stomach bug, so full-back JJ Kilmartin is lined up to make his first start for the club.

Dual-registered with Bath Rugby, the exciting young talent recently made his debut for the Pirates when coming off the bench to play against Carmarthen Quins in the British & Irish Cup.

Cornish Pirates:
JJ Kilmartin, G. Pointer, T. Riley, J. Fatialofa, B. Mercer
A. Penberthy, G. Cattle (capt), L. McGlone, P. Burgess, B. Maidment
G. Johnson, D. Barry, A. Paver, R. Elloway, P. Andrew.

B. Prescott, J. Yeandle, D. Lyons, J. Buckle, T. Kessell, K. Hallett, A. Cheesman.

What The Papers Say

Kevin Affleck - Bedfordshire News

Bedford Blues' director of rugby Mike Rayer believes Friday night's showdown with Cornish Pirates at home could be "quite an occasion".

The two Championship matches between the sides last season averaged 59 points a game and the stage is set for another special night under the lights at Goldington Road.

"They have had a bad start by their own admission but they have a small squad and injuries have played their part," Mike Rayer said.

"They turned it on against Rotherham last week and beat Leeds, too. They are in good recent form and they will target us as a significant scalp. We always have great battles with them and it will be an intriguing match. It could be quite an occasion."


Julian O’Riordan - Western Morning News

The Pirates travel to Bedford intending to extend their unbeaten run to six games after thrashing Rotherham two weeks ago.

Currently sixth in the league table and nine points behind the Blues they will be keen to erase the memories of two defeats at Goldington Road last season.

Controversy surrounded their one point loss in April's play-off encounter when Bedford won with a last minute converted try, hotly disputed by the Pirates.

However, head coach Ian Davies was keen to point out that it will not be about avenging that defeat on Friday.

"This is a completely different game with different personnel. It is not a revenge mission," he said.


Other News

Bedford Today

Saracens defence and forwards coach Paul Gustard hailed the influence the Bedford Blues are having on their young stars following his side’s 38-21 win over Leicester Tigers at Goldington Road in the LV= Cup last Friday night, writes Mark Wood.

The two clubs enjoy a close relationship with a number of players dual-registered.

Five Saracens players on the night had pulled on a Blues shirt and Gustard believes that familiarity may have helped them.

“On Bedford, I think it’s a great club, very well run, with Geoff Irvine and Mike Rayer here at the helm and Hynesy (Martin Hynes) and so on.

“It’s been brilliant, we can get our players here, get a lot of regular first team football, and I think that they’ve shown their development over the last six months has been accelerated rather than just playing in our Storm and helping out in training.”


Jersey v Newcastle Falcons - Saturday 15:00

Jersey Rugby Newcastle FalconsJersey v Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 24th November
St Peter
Kick Off 3pm

Live On BBC Radio Jersey


A Jersey squad featuring a significant number of changes will tomorrow attempt to inflict the first defeat of the season on leaders Newcastle Falcons.

 Injuries to Mike Le Bourgeois and Ross Broadfoot mean that former Ospreys full-back Barry Davies makes his first appearance at fly-half for the Islanders.

Davies is partnered at half-back by Dave McCormack, who also leads the side as regular skipper Nathan Hannay recovers from a physical encounter between the RFU Championship XV and the Maori All Blacks last Saturday.

Ed Tellwright joins the back-line in place of the suspended Ashley Maggs, with James Copsey moving to centre. The pack features four Jersey Academy graduates, with tight-head prop Jon Brennan gaining his first start since returning from a long-term injury.

Rob Anderson and Dave Markham will play in tandem having previously rotated as Hannay's second-row partner, while Irish flanker Eoghan Nihill returns to the fray and teams up with 18-year-old James Voss and Nick Trower in the back row.

Jersey's bench includes three players looking to return to action following injuries - scrum-half Nicky Griffiths, centre Dai Bishop and back-row man Fred Silcock.

1 Richard Barrington 2 Dave Felton 3 Jon Brennan 4 Rob Anderson
5 Dave Markham 6 James Voss 7 Eoghan Nihill 8 Nick Trower
9 Dave McCormack (capt) 10 Barry Davies 11 Ed Dawson
12 Donovan Sanders 13 James Copsey 14 Ed Tellwright 15 Glenn Bryce

16 Sean McCarthy 17 James Gethings 18 Paul Rodgers 19 Fred Silcock
20 Nicky Griffiths 21 Chris Levesley 22 Dai Bishop

Newcastle Falcons

Falcons have made five changes to the side that defeated Nottingham 29-9 a fortnight ago for this Saturday’s RFU Championship trip to Jersey.

Alex Crockett comes in for the rested Tane Tu’ipulotu at outside centre, while Warren Fury replaces Rory Lawson at scrum-half after the latter was named on the bench for Scotland to face Tonga this weekend.

Grant Shiells and Matt Thompson start in the front-row alongside Oliver Tomaszczyk, with Chris York getting the nod in the back-row.

Victory over the Channel Islanders will make it ten league wins out of ten this campaign, and comes hot on the heels of last week’s impressive triumph over Tonga at Kingston Park.

Falcons boss Dean Richards is pleased with his side’s recent form, which has seen back-to-back wins against title challengers Nottingham and Tonga who are ranked twelfth in the world.

“I’m pleased with both of those performances, particularly the Tonga match which was a complete performance by us,” said Richards.

He added: “The game against Tonga opened up a little bit quicker than what we thought, and we took our chances.

“They scored a couple of really nice tries, but we held them at bay which a lot of people didn’t expect us to do – we believed in ourselves.”

The squad jet out to Jersey today on a charter flight along with an army of Falcons supporters, as the feel good factor for top-class rugby continues to blossom in the North East.

Richards said: “It’s a nice trip if you’re a supporter and there are certainly plenty of things for them to do on the Friday and Saturday night.

“The players’ focus on Friday night will be what they are going to do on the field on Saturday afternoon.

“We will of course have a couple of beers on Saturday night after the game, but we have a quick turnaround and we need to turn our attentions to Plymouth on the Friday.”

Newcastle Falcons:
15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Jamie Helleur
11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth
9 Warren Fury, 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Sean Tomes
5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Chris York, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Ally Hogg

16 Mike Mayhew, 17 James Hall, 18 James Goode, 19 Richard Mayhew
20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 Andy Higgins

What The Papers Say

Mark Smith – The journal

MICKY Ward insists his Newcastle Falcons side will be leaving their guidebooks and sunglasses at home when they set off for Jersey tomorrow.

The front-row coach played at the Channel Island venue for Blaydon last season as Jersey raced to the National One title to earn their first crack at Championship rugby.

“Saturday will not be the walkover some people on the outside might think.

“We can’t afford to get sucked into a holiday mentality, but given the build-up we have had since beating Tonga last Tuesday I can’t see any danger of that.

“You fly across there, it is a lovely town with a bit of a French feel to it and you are on the seafront with all the lovely houses and the rest of it.

“You can easily slip into a holiday mode, but the lads seem really focused and professional.

Ward added: “We have spent a good amount of time analysing Jersey’s strengths and weaknesses and we are not taking them lightly by any stretch.


Other News

Ashley Maggs of Jersey RFC appeared before an RFU Disciplinary Panel at the London Bloomsbury Holiday Inn on Monday evening, charged with a dangerous tackle, contrary to Law 10.4(e), in the RFU Championship fixture Bristol Rugby v Jersey RFC on November 11. The player entered a guilty plea.

Maggs was given a two week ban and ordered to pay £250 towards hearing costs. He is free to play again on December 5.

London Scottish v Moseley - Saturday 12:45

London ScottishMoseley London Scottish v Moseley
Saturday 24th November
The Athletic Ground
Kick Off 12:45pm



London Scottish

London Scottish face Moseley at the Richmond Athletic Ground for an early kick off on Saturday afternoon.

Director of Rugby Simon Amor makes four changes to the side that lost narrowly to Plymouth a fortnight ago. Ross Samson comes in at scrum-half and Andy Reay returns at inside centre as Richard Bolt and PJ Gidlow are named on the replacements bench.

In the pack, Mark Bright makes his return from injury at No. 8, with Ben Russell moving to blindside flanker and Chevvy Pennycook shifting to openside. Lewis Thiede comes into the front row at tighthead alongside recent Championship XV representative Mark Irish.

Harlequins youngsters Harry Allen and Sam Twomey are available for selection and take their place on the bench.

Simon Amor said“We know that Moseley will challenge us right across the pitch but our focus is very much on ourselves and our own performance. We’re looking to get our game right consistently throughout the 80 minutes.”

Scottish have won three out of five league games at home this season and will be hoping to add another win this weekend.

London Scottish
15 Jim Thompson 14 James Love 13 Oli Grove 12 Andy Reay
11 Gerard Mullen 10 Phil Godman 9 Ross Samson
8 Mark Bright 7 Chevvy Pennycook 6 Ben Russell 5 Alex Karonias
4 Paul Spivey 3 Lewis Thiede 2 Adam Kwasnicki 1 Mark Irish

16 Harry Allen 17 Colin Quigley 18 Sam Twomey 19 Lewis Calder
20 Richard Bolt 21 PJ Gidlow 22 Dave McCall


Having enjoyed a welcome week’s break in the action after a disappointing heavy loss against Leeds at Wharfedale, Moseley return to the fray tomorrow with an early afternoon kick-off match against old rivals London Scottish.

This match sees the return to the red and black colours of dual-registered Ethan Waller at prop, fresh from his Northampton debut. The match also sees the first start for several weeks for Greg King who suffered an early season injury which has taken longer than expected to heal.

Coach Kevin Maggs said that he expects his team to react to the Leeds defeat with a more passionate display against Scottish. “We let ourselves and our supporters down in Yorkshire, and I am looking for a big reaction tomorrow”.

1.Ethan Waller; 2.Adam Caves; 3. Craig Voisey; 4.Addison Lockley
5. Thomas Hicks 6. Buster Lawrence; 7.Oliver Robinson; 8.Ben Pienaar
9. Sam Brown; 10.Glynn Hughes; 11. Oliver Thomas
12.Charlie Hayter; 13 Greg King; 14. Simon Hunt.; 15. Anthony Carter

16.Sam Wilkes; 17 Danny Herriott.; 18. Steffan Thorpe; 19.Nigel Burrows
20. Ben Pons; 21. Brad Hunt; 22. Billy Robinson

What The Papers Say

Brian Dick – Birmingham Post

Moseley return to Championship action against London Scottish at the Richmond Athletic Ground this weekend, a match made all the more significant by the Red and Blacks' last outing.

That came against Leeds a fortnight ago and culminated in a 38-12 hammering and an ugly performance made all the more incongruous by the beauty of the setting.

With Jersey and Doncaster beneath and two points behind them Moseley's season is far from at crisis point but even those within the camp admit time is starting to press.

"We know we shouldn't be where we are, we have made life a little bit more difficult for ourselves but we are certainly not worrying about our league position," centre Charlie Hayter insists.

"It is not going to affect the way we play or the way we do things, it's not panic stations at all. It's get back to what we know we are good at and the results will come."


Plymouth Albion v Bristol - Saturday 15:00

Plymouth AlbionBristol RugbyPlymouth Albion v Bristol
Saturday 24th November
Kick Off 3pm

BBC Radio Bristol

Plymouth Albion

Albion make just two changes to their team for Saturday’s West Country derby clash with Bristol at Brickfields

Albion are able to welcome back city-born youngster Henry Slade at full-back, while Jack Andrew comes in at loose-head prop.

Fellow prop Luke Cowan-Dickie is also available again and he is added to the bench for Saturday’s game.

Albion beat London Scottish at Brickfields in their last Championship outing and head coach Nat Saumi is hoping his team can add another home win this weekend. Plymouth have so far won four out of five of their home league games.

15 Henry Slade 14 Toby Howley-Berridge 13 Keni Fisilau 12 Bevon Armitage
11 Tom Bowen 10 Paul Roberts 9 Ruairi Cushion
1 Jack Andrew 2 Jon Vickers 3 Lloyd Fairbrother 4 Harrison Tovey
5 Rupeni Nasiga 6 Sam Hocking 7 Wayne Sprangle 8 Sean-Michael Stephen (capt)

16 Paul Rowley 17 Rhodri McAtee 18 Luke Cowan-Dickie 19 David Morton
20 Tom Cowan-Dickie 21 Ien Ascroft-Leigh 22 Sam Matavesi


Liam Middleton makes two changes to his side as Bristol look for a first win away from home in the RFU Championship since September.

Mike Tagicakibau slots back into the backline in place of David McIlwaine, while Glen Townson replaces Roy Winters in the second row.

Luke Eves continues his impressive record of starting every game this season, while Jason Hobson retains his place in the front row.

Bristol opt for a five forwards and two backs split on the bench, with Marco Mama returning to the 22-man squad in place of James Merriman.

Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Mike Tagicakibau
Adrian Jarvis, Ruki Tipuna; Bruce Douglas, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson
Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.

Rhys Lawrence, Mark Lilley, Gaston Cortes, Ben Glynn,
Marco Mama, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.

What The Papers Say

Sarah Raine - The Herald

Nat Saumi says only a full 80 minute performance will do from his Plymouth Albion team tomorrow when they host Bristol at Brickfields

Albion have allowed big leads to slip in their last two home matches.

Saumi said: "I have reminded them this week that we don't want to be just playing 40 minutes of rugby again. It has to be full concentration for 80 minutes.

"That is a crucial part of this weekend. We have to play right up to the final whistle."

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

The Bristol Post

Liam Middleton has told his Bristol players to expect a much different Plymouth team this weekend to the forward-dominated Albion sides of old.

The Devonians made a name for themselves as a physically uncompromising, forward-based team under former chairman of rugby Graham Dawe.

But since his departure from the club, new director of rugby Nat Saumi has placed a greater emphasis on attack and an all-round game, which has paid early dividends.

Bristol head coach Middleton said: "I think what has been part of Plymouth's success is that they have done a complete U-turn from the rugby they've played traditionally.

"What Nat has done is flip it on its head and play a completely different game – and I think, because it's such a significant change from what was being done previously, the players have really taken to it with enthusiasm.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Other News This Week

Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie - Saturday 14:00

Rotherham Titans Leeds Carnegie Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie
Saturday 24th November
Clifton Lane
Kick Off 2pm

BBC Radio Leeds


Rotherham Titans

Titans make 5 changes to the starting 15 that disappointingly lost last time out against Cornish Pirates.

Returning to the side following injury are the Irish pair of Eamonn Sheridan and James McKinney. Sheridan starts at outside centre, whilst McKinney will steer the ship in the number 10 jersey, meaning club captain Garry Law moves across to inside centre.

The 3 changes in the pack all come in the front row with Marshall Gadd, Ted Stagg and Gareth Denman all getting the nod.

Titans acting Head Coach Lee Blackett said ahead of the clash, “It’s a derby game, it’s Leeds and I think it’s special to a few of our players who have played up there before, including me. The game is also very special for the supporters, but more importantly it’s a game that we need to win as we can’t allow ourselves to slip too far behind the top four.

“Our ambition is to finish in the top four and to do that we have to win this game. We’ve had a massive focus this week on Leeds; we’ve looked very closely and reviewed them in great detail.  They are a team that’s in tremendous form and only Newcastle are in better form right now and we know we are in for a massive challenge.

“Despite still having major issues injury wise, our preparations have been good and hopefully we are close to making a couple of signings next week to strengthen the squad. We are unbeaten at home this year and I always feel confident at Clifton Lane of beating any side.”

15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 Garry Law (Capt.)
11 Mike Doneghan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone
1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Toby Freeman
5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Carl Kirwan.

16 Jamie Kilbane, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Nile Dacres
20 Ed Taylor, 21 Pale Nonu, 22 Joel Gill.

Leeds Carnegie

Head Coach Diccon Edwards has made two changes to his team to face Rotherham Titans tomorow with Ryan Burrows set to return against his former club.

Edwards has named an unchanged backline from the side that ran out comfortable winners over Moseley a fortnight ago at Wharfedale. However, he is forced into one change with hooker Joe Graham ruled out throught injury and he is replaced by Phil Nilsen.

The other change comes in the back row with Ryan Burrows returning to face his old club in place of Rob Baldwin at number eight. On the bench, 18 year old hooker Luke Cole is set for his debut for the club after being drafted into the squad having played on loan at Otley so far this season.

Leeds Carnegie
15. Stevie McColl 14. Oli Goss 13. Josh Griffin 12. Fred Burdon
11. David Doherty 10. Joe Ford 9. James Doherty
1. Sam Lockwood 2. Phil Nilsen 3. Damien Tussac 4. Calum Green
5. Dan Hemingway 6. Richard Beck 7. Jacob Rowan (c) 8. Ryan Burrows

16. Luke Cole 17. Lee Imiolek 18. Ben Hooper 19. Matt Smith
20. Rob Baldwin 21. Craig Hampson 22. Curtis Wilson

What The Papers Say

The Star

Tomorrow’s contest will be keenly observed and assessed by the new Rotherham coach Alex Codling who officially takes over on a full time basis on Monday of next week.

Codling addressed the players at a meeting at Clifton Lane on Wednesday and will hold one-to-one meetings with each member of the squad within the next fortnight.

“I told them they can expect a lot of hard work and I will create a positive and challenging environment for them.

“I would like to add to the squad because of the injury problems when the right players come along. Having depth in the squad adds to its quality and means there’s competition for places and it also means players can have a rest.

As regards the Leeds game, I told the players that a win for us is important for the club’s long term prospects this season and that I wanted them to show Leeds that Clifton Lane was a tough place to play and it was a ground full of passion.

Full Story/www.thestar.co.uk

Other News

Leeds Carnegie have confirmed that young hooker Harry Hannan has been released from the remainder of his contract after making a request to the club's management.


Nottingham v Doncaster - Sunday 15:00

Nottingham Doncaster KnightsNottingham v Doncaster
Sunday 25th November
Meadow Lane
Kick Off 3pm


PROP Ryan Bower has been named as Michael Holford’s replacement at tighthead for Nottingham’s clash with Doncaster at Meadow Lane on Sunday.

Bower makes his second league start of the campaign for the Green and Whites as cover for the 30-year-old who this week joined Premiership side Leicester on a short-term loan

The change to the front row is one of four made by Nottingham head coach Martin Haag ahead of the inaugural Robin Hood Shield clash.

Lock Dan Montagu said Bower has effortlessly stepped up in training to show himself as a ready-made substitute for the experienced campaigner who has started all nine RFU Championship fixtures to date.

“Holfy has been doing a great job at tighthead but we have a quality prop in Bowzer coming in,” Montagu said.

“Bowzer can step up, I’ve played with him before and he’s shown himself to be extremely capable. I’m sure it will be a seamless change and one that isn’t going to affect the side too much.”

RFU Championship XV representative centre Tim Streather gets his first start for Nottingham since the first week of October, having recovered from injury.

Streather featured for Nottingham against Newcastle as a second half substitute recently. He went on to prove that he is back to his best last week, starting alongside Green and Whites teammates Rhys Crane and Nic Rouse in the representative clash with the Maori All Blacks.

Rupert Cooper reclaims his starting place ahead of Tom Calladine in the back row, with second rower Joe Cain named in Nottingham’s match day 22 for the first time this season.Cain is poised to make his first appearance for Green and Whites, named on the bench. The 20-year-old former Melbourne Rugby Club junior came through the Leicester Tigers Academy and made his first senior appearance for the Premiership giants in the LV= Cup earlier this month.

Meanwhile, scrum-half Finlay Barnham returned to the Green and Whites Lady Bay training base this week after a short term loan with Premiership side London Irish.

Barnham was on the bench for the Exiles trip to Welford Road at the weekend, and while he didn’t feature in the match he took the experience all in his stride.

“It was a great learning experience for me,” Barnham said.

Nottingham Rugby
15 Andrew Savage 14 David Jackson 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro
11 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans
1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey 3 Ryan Bower 4 Dan Montagu
5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw.

16 Shaun Malton 17 Matt Shields 18 Joe Cain 19 Tom Calladine
20 Finlay Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Joe Cobden.


The Knights have named a very strong side for their rematch with Nottingham Rugby in their crucial Championship clash.

With Clive Griffiths predominantly on Canada duty, the side has been named by the existent coaching setup with the maestro overseeing a number of small tweaks to the setup as the Knights aim to get their campaign back on track.

Donny travel to Meadow Lane hoping to repeat last month’s victory over the Green and Whites in the B&I Cup, but have been forced into a few changes through injury and suspension.

One man to watch will be new dual-registered centre Andy Symons who joins the Castle Park outfit on a temporary basis from Leicester Tigers. Similar to Keiran Brookes’ swift spell, it is not known how long Symons will be with the Knights, but he promises much as Doncaster extend their links with the Premiership giants.

The 21-year-old was recommended to Tigers by former player Aaron Mauger after playing in New Zealand, making his debut in a cup game at Scarlets and has gone on to add three more appearances to his Tigers CV.

Dante Mama and Tom Davies both return to the Knights ranks from duty with the RFU Championship XV. Davies returns to loose-head prop, whilst Mama slots in at his preferred full-back position.

Jamie Lennard lines up at outside-half with Tom Barrett taking his place on the bench. Whilst Tom Luke is expected to be sidelined for a period time with a broken jaw sustained against Bedford Blues.

Elsewhere heavyweight prop Tomas Francis keeps hold of his starting birth, whilst Jethro Rawling returns from suspension and Louis Silver gets the nod at scrum-half after recovering from his injury. Kick Off 3pm at Meadow Lane on Sunday.

Doncaster Knights:
15 Dante Mama 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 James Tincknell 12 Andy Symons
11 Tyson Lewis 10 Jamie Lennard 9 Louis Silver
1 Tom Davies 2 Rhys Buckley 3 Tomas Francis 4 Matt Challinor ©
5 Dominic Parsons 6 Adam Kettle 7 Jethro Rawling 8 Chris Planchant

16) Ben Sowery, 17) Brian McGovern, 18) Andy Brown, 19) Phil Hoy
20) Andy Boyde, 21) Chris Hallam, 22) Tom Barrett

What The Papers Say

Nottingham Post

Nottingham Rugby have their very own Dark Knight to 'Kapow!' the Doncaster Knights, says James Arlidge.

The Green and Whites' longest-serving player David Jackson has grown a moustache in the shape of the Batman sign for Movember.

And ahead of their Championship clash with Doncaster, his team-mate Arlidge was the joker, saying: "We can't lose with a superhero in our team!

"We might just send him out there on his own to take them on."

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

Steve Hossack The Star

Doncaster Knights skipper Matt Challinor is hoping that the Castle Park club can build on their battling display against Bedford Blues a fortnight ago in Sunday’s testing Championship clash at Nottingham.

“I was pleased with the performance against Bedford, but disappointed with result,” said the second-rower. “ To lose 22-21 to the last kick of the game was a bitter pill to swallow.

I know that people will say that we can take some consolation from running the second-placed team so close and that we should have beaten them, as was the case in the game against the Pirates. but we still lost.

“We know it is going to be tough at Meadow Lane because Nottingham don’t lose many games there, But we beat them down there in the B & I Cup and although they weren’t at full strength at the start they brought a lot of players on during the game.”

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Other News

NOTTINGHAM prop Michael Holford has joined Premiership side Leicester on a short-term loan.

The 30-year-old former Tiger, who most recently enjoyed a stint at Welford Road last season, has been selected for Leicester's league meeting with London Wasps on Sunday.


CLIVE Griffiths, who fills the new post of Director of Professional Rugby at Doncaster Knights, has been talking to Steve Hossack of the Star.

“Having worked at the club before, hopefully I can make a difference and the current coaching staff will benefit from my experience,” he said speaking exclusively to The Star.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to go back to the club and try and improve their fortunes this season”

Griffiths hadn’t spoken to director of rugby Brett Davey prior to talking to The Star, and said that he appreciated that his fellow Welshman would need time to ‘digest the situation’ but he was hopeful that he would remain on board.

“I coached Brett and (head coach) Glen Kenworthy and I know their pedigree and I’ve the upmost respect for both of them,” he said. “I’m sure that we can work well together.”

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk