Roberts pleased with pre-season progress.

Fly-half Paul Roberts had to watch his teammates secure promotion from the sidelines after a knee injury in the penultimate game of the season ruled him out of the final day victory over Blackheath.

Since then the 24-year-old has been on the long road to recovery but is very upbeat with how rehab has gone so far and believes the Knights look in good shape with three weeks to go until the first test of the season. Speaking earlier today Paul talked about pre-season so far and how he hopes to back on the pitch before too long.“Recovery is going very well, at the start of pre-season I wasn’t able to do too much, mainly light jogging and rehab work but now I am back into it, I can sprint full on and I’m easing back into the contact side of things.

“It’s getting quite exciting now that I’m almost back, Linsday [Whitaker] and Dougie [Flockhart] have been great every step, I’ve enjoyed the challenge and my motivation to get back to full fitness has never dropped.

“The target return date has always for the first game of the season but we have been adjusting that target depending on how my knee feels. If I can get back earlier then that would be great but will depend on how I respond to contact sessions in the next few weeks.

“We’ve been able to start very quickly this year, as a back division we all already know our roles and we haven’t had to start from the beginning learning all the terminology and the plays.

“The main benefit I’ve noticed this pre-season compared to last is that as a backline it is sometimes underrated just how much you have to work with the forwards but all last year we’ve been able to discuss exactly how we want to interplay.

“The pack know how we need them to work off us, as a result in team sessions I feel we are a lot better at communicating between the units which ultimately leads to creating more opportunities to score.”

Before joining the Knights Roberts wore the number 10 jersey for Plymouth Albion and knows very well the demands of Championship Rugby. “The Championship is a step up, we all know that.

“It seems that every season the Championship gets better and better, there’s more money coming into it, the teams expected to be at the top have Premiership set ups and the standard is so high right through the competition.

“If you look at Ealing who got relegated last season, they knocked over quite a few teams and, apart from in the first few weeks, very rarely got beaten heavily.

“At Plymouth we were towards the bottom half of the league despite beating some good sides and coming very close against others, so we know what we’re up against.”

The Knights are now into week seven of pre-season training and the first game is creeping ever closer. Paul believes that every member of the squad is getting quite excited about playing again and is looking forward to a team trip away to South Wales. “Everyone is really looking forward to Neath now, it’s our first chance to play but also it will be good chance for a first team social.

“Last year it was very different to this, I was one of the new guys but it felt like there was a lot of new guys and it was quite a new team where as this year we have a very strong core.

“I think that this team and the Club as a whole are very good at welcoming new players and I feel the players that have come in from elsewhere don’t even feel like new players anymore but it will really good to have our first game and then first social.

“In your first game at a new club, pre-season or not, you are always keen to show everyone what you can do so the new recruits will be extra keen for the first run out and it should be a really good weekend.”

On September 6th the Greene King IPA Championship returns and the Knights begin their campaign against Roberts’ former employers at Castle Park, the stand off admits being desperate to play but won’t risk putting his recovery in jeopardy if he is not fully fit.

“I had some good times against Plymouth, I still know some guys down there and it is always fun playing against your mates.

“Whilst I’d love to play, and I hope to play, and believe I should be fit, the main thing for me is making sure I am 100 percent fit before playing and making sure I don’t have my judgment clouded by emotions towards that game”

Catch the Knights return to Castle Park on August 16th against Swansea, tickets just £5.

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Exclusive offer for pre-season clash.

We are offering a superb hospitality deal for Rugby’s return to Castle Park.

In three short weeks fans will get the first opportunity to see the new look Knights in Castle Park action. Clive Girffiths’ troops will play their first home game since April as they take on Welsh Championship outfit Swansea RFC on August 16th, KO 15:00. The day will be a real DRFC affair as the Club’s amateur wing, Doncaster Phoenix will play a curtain raiser against National Three North outfit Sheffield Tigers with the all South Yorkshire clash getting underway at 12:30.

Entry costs just £5 and includes admission to both the Knights and Phoenix games; Under 16s go free when accompanied by a paying adult.

We are also delighted to announce that we are offering a very special, one off deal in our hospitality boxes. For this game only, on booking hospitality meals for a group (minimum 10 persons) and purchasing match day tickets we’re offering a match day box free of charge. Hospitality meals cost just £15 p/h so for a total of £200, normally £600, you can take advantage of one our premiere boxes and watch a full days rugby in the luxury of your own private space.

We anticipate this offer will be very well subscribed, so do not hesitate. To book your group call reception on 01302 831388 or for more details email mcasey@castle-park.co.uk.

 

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Ross raring to get going as Neath nears.

Knights prop forward Ross Davies states that all is going to plan in pre-season but is looking forward to a return to The Gnoll.

With the Knights squad now at the end of pre-season week number six, tight head Ross Davies talks about how preparations have been going so far. The 30-year-old admits that Clive, Kendo and Cookie have been working the team hard but that the results justify the workload, stating. “The team are continuing to work together very well and the new boys have gelled without issue.

“It has been pretty brutal recently, we are getting through a lot of work doing up to four sessions a day, be it in the gym or out on the pitch and we’ve covered so much already.

“All the new lads so far have been forwards but everything has just run like clockwork and they’ve bought right into what we’re trying to do. We’re a pretty close-knit bunch and they’ve all slotted in seamlessly.”

In a division where the strength of a side’s set piece can contribute significantly to their overall success, Ross claims that the front row unit are looking very strong already. “Up front we’re looking very good, competition brings the best out of players and no one is under any illusions that any player is guaranteed a starting spot.

“On the my side of the scrum, Quigs [Colin Quigley] has come in, shown up well in training and is a proven Championship campaigner but Big C [Colin Phillips] has really been turning heads since we started in June and he will have his own designs on the number three jersey.

“Then on the loosehead side, to have two players like Listy [Richard List] and Dizzle [Tom Davies], Clive will have a tough job splitting those two, they’re both proven performers who are exceptional at what they do, all of this bodes well for us ahead of the new season.”

The Knights will get their first taste of competition on August 9th when they travel down to South Wales for a pre-season clash with Neath, a club that Davies is very well acquainted with. “Neath is going to be a special game for me as it is my old team and I had a lot good times playing there.

“It’s always the case after a few weeks of pre-season, everyone is itching for a game, the whole squad are counting down the days.

“They’ll be a hard test, I expect them to be very switched on under Rowland Phillips and they will be hoping for a better campaign than last year, it will be a very tough first run out.

“We are having a bit of a trip away for the Neath game and I’m sure we will have some social activity planned for after the game but first and foremost we need to get the game dealt with.

“It will be nice to get to know the news boys outside of a work environment, we are a close group and all the new lads have right slotted in so far – it’ll be good to see them out of their shell down in the homeland.”

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Return of the Mak

Latu Makaafi returns to Castle Park!

The Knights have secured the services of Tongan International rugby player Latu Makaafi from Jersey on a one-year deal.

Latu, who joined up with the Knights squad for a first training session on Friday [18th] morning, returns two season’s after having left to join Rotherham Titans in the summer of 2012.

Latu had a successful first campaign at Clifton Lane, so successful that Jersey RFC snapped him up from the Titans. Despite the back-row forward breaking his jaw on debut against Plymouth Albion Makaafi went on to make 20 competitive appearances for the Islanders in 2013/14.

Latu and his family have chosen to move back to Yorkshire from Jersey and DoR Clive Griffiths moved quickly to snap him up, stating. “When the opportunity to sign Latu arose we were very keen to take it.

“We are welcoming a very experienced Championship player with a tough uncompromising attitude to the game into the squad.

“He’s a player who is capable across the back row but can also do a devastating job in midfield which gives us some flexibility if needed but we’ve signed him predominantly as a back row forward.”

Griff highlighted how Latu’s previous stint at the Club was no small factor in the decision to bring him back. “Latu having been here before was a big factor in our decision to sign him, he was well liked here last time and represented the club with distinction.

“It is important that we sign players with a feel and attachment to the club, Bevon is another example of that.

“We have had some very talented players who have been on trial with us and put their hands up to come here but when you have someone who you know and already has an infinity with the place it just tips the balance.

“He showed up well in training on Friday morning, as coaches we just stood back and watched, he joins us at the right time as we start to really increase the rugby side of pre-season and I look forward to seeing him in the warm up games.”

It isn’t just Clive who is excited to about the 31-year-old’s return as Latu expressed his pleasure at being back in Yorkshire. “I’m really looking forward to this season, I enjoyed my last spell here in Doncaster and have lots of good memories.

“I came straight into training, which was pretty tough, it’s very different from before but it is very exciting.

“I have to concentrate on myself now and work hard to compete with all the guys here but I’ll enjoy doing it.

“I still have friends here from before, Chall, Tom Davies and Kendo as well as Ross Davies who I played with at Rotherham.

“I feel confident we can have a good season, the boys look well and they are very fit, I found that out quickly having had a few weeks off.

“I have met with Clive and spoke to him over the phone but before I first spoke to him I had heard lots of good things about how he works and I’m excited to play under him.

“I just can’t wait to play some games here again and have a run around the Castle Park pitch”

Welcome back Latu!

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Welcome back to the Club website.

Welcome back to www.drfc.co.uk.

 

We are delighted to have our Club website back up and running just as pre-season starts to hot up as we eagerly count down the days till the return of rugby.

 

We are now back active with a brand new fresh layout and enhanced usability.

 

We hope you will find the new site useful, you will notice on the site quick links to our twitter feed and other social networks where you can find pictures and clips of the Knights going about their day to day routine.

 

We apologise for the temporary web page absence but hope you enjoy the new site. If you have questions about any of our online functions please email mcasey@castle-park.co.uk

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Supporters Coach information for Tigers trip.

A Supporters Coach has been provisionally booked for our trip to Welford Road on Friday August 29th.

Following high demand we are pleased to announce a Supporters Coach has been provisionally booked for the Knights pre-season clash with Leicester Tigers. The Coach will depart Castle Park at 13:30 and set off home at 22:00 meaning that fans will have the chance to not only see the Knights in action but also watch the Tigers take on Cardiff Blues at 19:30.

The cost of the Coach is £20 per person but we do request that those wishing to travel pay at reception by Monday August 11th. We are also on the look out for volunteers as Bob and Chris Briggs, who do a fantastic job organising the Supporters Coach , are away on holiday so unable to take charge of proceedings. Anyone able to step into the breach should email mcasey@castle-park.co.uk or call 01302 831388 and ask for Michael.

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Pre-season Dinner

On August 12th Castle Park plays host to this year’s Doncaster Knights pre-season dinner, a special event open to all.

The evening is a perfect chance for fans to meet and get to know the new Knights players and catch up with old favourites alike. Those who attend will be assigned to tables with at least two members of the Knights playing squad and will be able to pick their brains over dinner about everything that has occurred so far in pre-season including the first pre-season fixture, which will have been played just three days previous.

Following dinner there will be a speech made by Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths and a chance for Q&As with a selection of Knights players.

Janet and the Castle Park catering team have pulled out all the stops for the occasion and have created a mouth-watering menu of breast of chicken cooked in a wild mushroom, mustard, garlic & white wine cream sauce, served with parmentier potatoes & seasonal vegetables. Followed by strawberry cheesecake topped with summer fruits & raspberry coulis and after dinner coffee.

Proceedings kick off at 7pm and tickets for this special event are now available for just £15, we recommend booking yours quickly as this event proved very popular last season.

 

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Knights to face Welsh trial as pre-season schedule is announced.

The Knights will play their first game in four months against Neath on August 9th.

It has been announced the 2014/15 crop will get their first experience of playing together in South Wales as they kick off their pre-season tri-series with a clash versus Welsh Principality Premiership outfit Neath RFC. It was announced last week on social media that the Knights are to welcome Swansea RFC to Castle Park in the second of three pre-season examinations on August 16th and a trip to Welford Road on Friday August the 29th will bring pre-season fixtures to a close.

The trip to Neath will serve as more than a first run out for the Knights as Clive chooses to show the Knights squad the joys of his Fatherland with a four-day stop over for some team building.

Griff believes the excursion, which will see the team stop over in Swansea, will be a perfect opportunity for the team to bond away from work but insists it will a very strict affair with very little apart from training on the menu…

The Knights DoR said “The plan is to go down on the Thursday, train that evening then twice again on Friday before playing on Saturday and coming back on Sunday, similar to our weekend in Scarborough last season.

“I am looking forward to taking the boys over to God’s Home Country, the air always seems a little sweeter down there and it will be good to see a few boys come out of their shell.

“With regards to any extra-curricular activity, we will be looking to do some extra dumbbell work on Saturday night, no time for too much socialising though as there is an early morning recovery session on the beach on Sunday morning.

“I believe we have some very strong swimmers in the group so we’ll see how they fair in Swansea Bay first thing on Sunday.”

Jokes aside Clive believes Neath will provide the Knights with a very tough first test, serving as ideal preparation for the rest of pre-season, leading into the season-opener with Plymouth and things are looking good currently.

“Neath are a very capable team and a side know well, they have a new coach named Rowland Phillips who I have worked with before and there is a link there, they will probably come visit Castle Park next season.

“Pre-season is continuing to go well, we have really tested them and are delighted with how they have responded every time.

“We have kept hold of a very strong core from last year so the transition has been rather seamless and we’ve been able to get going quickly.

“They have been thrown straight into it, we are running team moves, working very hard on their conditioning, skills and speed work, we’re certainly putting them through their paces.

“The new lads that have come in have slotted in perfectly, all the players we’ve brought in are professionals, they are coming into a good group and have embraced everything that has been asked of them.”

When asked how he thought proceedings were going so far in his second pre-season at Castle Park our enigmatic Skills and Backs Coach Paul Cookie Cook simply responded. “It’s going well mate.” That’ll do for me.

Knights pre-season Schedule.

August 9th – Neath RFC v Doncaster Knights at The Knoll, KO 13:00.

August 16th – Doncaster Knights v Swansea RFC at Castle Park, KO 15:00.

August 29th – Leicester Tigers v Doncaster Knights at Welford Road, KO 17:00.

 

Knights first Greene King IPA Championship Fixture

September 6th – Doncaster Knights v Plymouth Albion at Castle Park, KO 14:30.

For tickets to the home games, or for more information, please call 01302 831388.

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AGM calling Notice

DRFC AGM to take place on July 31st.

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Doncaster Rugby Football Club Limited (DRFC Ltd) will be held at Castle Park, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster DN2 5QB on Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 7.30pm.

We hope as many members as possible are able to attend. Amongst all the usual important items on the agenda it will be a first opportunity for members to see the new Knights away strip.

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