Phoenix poised for another exciting season.

Following an unprecedented perfect season in Yorkshire One, Castle Park’s non-professional playing arm, Doncaster Phoenix, are gearing up to begin their 2015/16 preparations as pre-season training begins this Thursday.

Last season’s promotion means the 1st XV will compete in North East Division One for the upcoming campaign and the 2nd XV, who were also crowned league champions, in the YRFU Merit League Championship.

The Club have been busy over the summer and a couple of new faces have joined the Phoenix ranks, although Castle Park regulars will be well-acquainted with one of the acquisitions as former Knights star Jamie Lennard commits to the Club.

Speaking on the new arrivals and forthcoming season DRFC Rugby Development Manager Ants Posa said. “Jamie has joined the ranks, taking the role of backs and skills coach.

“The main thing that I believe Jamie will bring to the Club, asides from his playing ability, is his experience and leadership.

“We have a lot of very young guys in our back line, if you take away our captain Andy Ellis, the majority of the backs are 21 and under so to have someone of Jamie’s experience on the pitch with these young players can only be beneficial.

“We’ve also got a couple of other guys joining us, Dan Porter arrives from Selby and played in the South Yorkshire sevens tournament that we won at Wheatley Hills last weekend and provides another attacking weapon out wide.

“Alex Keaton, who is an ex Donny mini/junior will also return for the new season.

“I’m always delighted to see players coming ‘home’ to play their rugby, hopefully he might get some training time with the Knights also.

“The goal for the Club, as well as building a successful team, is to strengthen that pathway through to the professional rugby at the Club so it’s great to see that partnership strengthening.

North East One is unchartered territory for the Phoenix, as it is the highest level in the league structure that the Club has competed. Despite this Posa is confident that the his side can, not only compete, but flourish in their new division. “We are an ambitious Club and I don’t think we’ve been playing to our potential for a few years, I feel we are now getting towards where we should be.

“Of course we are aiming for promotion but if that take one year, two years, three years or however long so be it; the important thing is that we’re aiming upwards and growing.”

The Phoenix first taste of competitive rugby has thrown up a mouth-watering Doncaster derby in the Yorkshire Cup against town rivals Wheatley Hills; a fixture that Ants hopes will really capture the imagination of every Doncaster rugby fan.

“We’re in the Yorkshire Cup for the first time in our history and we’ve drawn Wheatley Hills in the first round on August 29th at Castle Park.

“We’re trying to organize it around the Knights pre-season game with Blaydon so that the public can hopefully stay to watch both games with a lot of local interest on show.”

As ambitious as the Phoenix are for the future the overriding message of the Club continues to be rugby for all and with the first session of the new season just a couple of days away it is a point that Posa is keen to reiterate.

“We want to make pre-season as much fun as possible, whilst we want it to be hard we want to get people hungry to play the game at Castle Park.

“There is going to be fitness work, David Hankinson has now taken over the strength and conditioning side of things. He’s another local boy and works as a PTI in the RAF but playing and enjoying rugby will remain very much the focus.

“Myself, Ryan [Peacey] and Adam [Kettle] will be keen to make sure there is plenty of rugby played from the start and, as always, we really hope to see some new faces come down.

“Everybody is welcome, regardless of ability or age. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played at Castle Park in the past or never played before in your life, everyone is welcome we have a place for the talented guys right through to the social players.”

Doncaster Phoenix pre-season training will kick off at 6:45pm this Thursday [July 2nd] at Castle Park.

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Fly ‘Knights Air’

Fly ‘Knights Air’ to Jersey on 2nd January 2016

With the 2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship fixtures just announced, the Club is offering Knights Supporters’ a unique ‘away day’ package to attend our GKIPA Championship fixture against Jersey in the New Year.

Because of the implications for travel on New Year’s Day 2016, and potential accommodation difficulties in The Channel Islands over New Year, the Club is proposing to charter a Boeing 737 airliner to fly to Jersey out and back from Doncaster Robin Hood Airport on game day.

The aircraft would carry the Knights playing squad with room for 100 supporters. The charter flight will offer complimentary tea and coffee and a complimentary bar – for all other than Knights players on the outbound leg!!

The ‘away day’ package would include flights, ground transfer in Jersey to and from the ground as well as a match day ticket and a three-course pre-match meal (see menu below) held in Jersey’s temperature-controlled supporter’s marquee ensuring that each and every fan was thoroughly fed and watered for a day’s sport.

The cost of the trip is £299 per head and this, apart from being arguably the most cost effective way to attend the game, completely takes the hassle of organizing a trip to the Island off your hands. All you would need to do is make your way to Robin Hood Airport in time for departure and the rest is taken care of.

The full cost for the playing squad and their support staff is borne by the Club and the spectator fare does not contribute or supplement the Club’s costs. This ‘away day’ match opportunity will require a good take up of the 100 seats, indeed, we hope it will be fully taken up by loyal Knights supporters. If you wish to be part of Doncaster Knights’ Jersey experience please register your interest with reception as soon as possible by either calling 01302 831388 or emailing reception@castle-park.co.uk.

Provisional Itinerary.

Check In arrangements to be notified
09:30 Depart Doncaster Robin Hood.
11:30 Transfers from Jersey Airport to Jersey Athletic ground.
12:00 Three-course hospitality meal at Jersey Athletic ground.
15:00 Kick off: Jersey RFC vs Doncaster Knights
17:30 Transfers from Jersey Athletic ground to Jersey Airport.
18:30 Depart Jersey Airport
20:00 Arrive at Robin Hood Airport.

Hospitality Lunch Menu

Homemade soup of the day
Served with fresh baked bread and Jersey Butter
……….

Roast top side of Beef
Served with Yorkshire pudding
Roast potatoes and vegetables
And a red wine sauce

……..

Carrot cake
Served with Jersey double cream

……
Coffee

The Marquee is within the grounds and has a fully stocked bar including our Famous” Jersey Pride Real Ale” and a full selection of wines, the marquee is also temperature controlled and has its own Bathroom facilities. Lunch is served from 12pm and served up until kick off at 3pm and the marquee remains open after the game.

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RL double-header at Castle Park this Sunday.

Rugby league returns to Castle Park this Sunday as Doncaster Dons and Sheffield Eagles continue their Kingstone Press Championship campaigns with back-to-back fixtures.

 

Doncaster Dons have had a tricky season so far and they kick off the day’s competition taking on Cumbrian outfit Whitehaven. Dons CEO Carl Hall cannot stress enough the significance of the Castle Park Clash. “This is without doubt one of the most important games in the club’s history and we need you all there to back the boys on Sunday.

 

“It is certainly the biggest game during my time at the club and we need Castle Park to be full and rocking, we need you all to make it intimidating and daunting place for Whitehaven to come.”

 

The Dons kick off in their ‘this is it’ relegation clash at Castle Park at 15:00 in the first of the day’s doubleheader followed by the Sheffield Eagles doing battle against Workington, KO 17:15. The Eagles are hoping to get back to winning ways after a heavy defeat at the hands of league leaders Leigh Centurions last weekend.

 

Tickets for both of the afternoon’s games are now on sale and Doncaster Knights 2015/16 season ticket holders can take advantage of discounted entry. Season ticket holder entry costing just £10 for each individual game or £15 for a double-header ticket.

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De Mulder Lloyd Stand canvas update.

Ahead of the new season we are looking to update some of the player portrait canvases hanging in the De Mulder Lloyd Stand concourse.

 

As most Knights fans are well aware, the DMLS concourse is populated with action shots of Knights players that have graced the Castle Park turf in seasons past. Ahead of the 2015/16 campaign we are hoping to update the portfolio of player canvases and would like to assess public opinion of whom, you, the fans would like to see immortalised on canvas.

 

If you have a favourite Knights player (past or present) that you feel should have their image printed and hung in pride of place in the DMLS concourse please contact Michael Casey on mcasey-castle-park.co.uk.

 

All opinions will be taken into account; however, there is no guarantee any one player will be selected.

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Uncle Jack

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of arguably DRFC’s longest ever serving supporter, Uncle Jack.

At the age of 104 Jack passed away peacefully last Thursday afternoon following a short illness resulting from the after effects of a fall at home.

Jack’s funeral will be held at Rose Hill Crematorium next Wednesday (July 1st) at 1:20pm after which all who knew Jack are invited to join his family at Castle Park. There are to be no flowers but donations can be made to “Breast Cancer Care” in memory of his late wife Hilda.

Our condolences go out to John and the rest of Jack’s family and friends.

 

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2015/16 Championship fixtures announced.

The Knights will kick of the 2015/16 campaign at home versus Championship new boys London Welsh.

Griff’s charges will hope to extend the Exiles losing run from last season in Round One at Castle Park on the first weekend in September.

 

The Knights opening away fixture will be a short trip to Nottingham’s Lady Bay for the very first time before welcoming the Islanders of Jersey in Round three.

 

A period of discussion will now take place between the Championship Clubs to finalise kick off times and on which day fixtures will take place, this will be completed by the end of the month. Once all fixtures have been confirmed they will be updated on the www.drfc.co.uk fixtures tab. There is one fixture that we can confirm, however, and that is our away clash with Jersey, which will be played on January 2nd, kick off 15:00. Details of a ‘Knights air’ trip away has now been sent to all Club members and more detail will be posted here later this week.

 

Commenting on the 2015/16 season, Chairman of the Championship Clubs Geoff Irvine said: “We saw last season just what an exciting competition the Championship is and that, along with the quality of rugby, has continued to grow every year since the league’s inception in 2009. The league also remains an excellent competitive environment for English qualified players to learn their trade.

 

“There are some fascinating clashes in the opening round and beyond and I for one am eager to see how the season unfolds. If we learned anything from last season, it’s that anything can happen in this league and that will make for some pretty engaging and exciting rugby to come.”

 

 

2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship fixtures

 

Round 1 – Sept 4/5/6

London Scottish v Moseley

Bristol Rugby v Bedford Blues

Doncaster Knights v London Welsh

Cornish Pirates v Nottingham Rugby

Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey

Rotherham Titans v Ealing Trailfinders

 

Round 2 – Sept 11/12/13

Bedford Blues v Moseley

Rotherham Titans v Yorkshire Carnegie

Jersey v Cornish Pirates

Nottingham v Doncaster Knights

London Welsh v Bristol

Ealing Trailfinders v London Scottish

 

Round 3 – Sept 18/19/20

London Scottish v Bedford Blues

Moseley v London Welsh

Bristol Rugby v Nottingham Rugby

Doncaster Knights v Jersey

Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans

Yorkshire Carnegie v Ealing Trailfinders

 

Round 4 – Sept 25/26/27

Nottingham Rugby v Moseley

London Welsh v Bedford Blues

Ealing Trailfinders v Cornish Pirates

Rotherham Titans v Doncaster Knights

Jersey v Bristol Rugby

Yorkshire Carnegie v London Scottish

 

Round 5 – October 2/3/4

London Scottish v London Welsh

Bedford Blues v Nottingham Rugby

Mosely v Jersey

Bristol Rugby v Rotherham Titans

Doncaster v Ealing Trailfinders

Cornish Pirates v Yorkshire Carnegie

 

Round 6 – October 9/10/11

Rotherham Titans v Moseley

Jersey v Bedford Blues

Nottingham Rugby v London Welsh

Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights

Ealing Trailfinders v Bristol Rugby

Cornish Pirates v London Scottish

 

Round 7 – October 16/17/18

London Scottish v Nottingham Rugby

London Welsh v Jersey

Bedford Blues v Rotherham Titans

Moseley v Ealing Trailfinders

Bristol Rugby v Yorkshire Carnegie

Doncaster Knight v Cornish Pirates

 

Round 8 – October 23/24/25

Yorkshire Carnegie v Moseley

Ealing Trailfinders v Bedford Blues

Rotherham Titans v London Welsh

Jersey v Nottingham Rugby

Cornish Pirates v Bristol Rugby

Doncaster Knights v London Scottish

 

Round 9 – November 6/7/8

London Scottish v Jersey

Nottingham Rugby v Rotherham Titans

London Welsh v Ealing Trailfinders

Bedford Blues v Yorkshire Carnegie

Moseley Rugby v Cornish Pirates

Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights

 

Round 10 – November 27/28/29

Doncaster Knights v Moseley

Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues

Yorkshire Carnegie v London Welsh

Ealing Trailfinders v Nottingham Rugby

Rotherham Titans v Jersey

Bristol Rugby v London Scottish

 

Round 11 – December 4/5/6

London Scottish v Rotherham Titans

Jersey v Ealing Trailfinders

Nottingham Rugby v Yorkshire Carnegie

London Welsh v Cornish Pirates

Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights

Moseley v Bristol Rugby

 

Round 12 – December 26

Moseley v Bedford Blues

Bristol Rugby v London Welsh

Doncaster Knights v Nottingham Rugby

Cornish Pirates v Jersey

Yorkshire Carnegie v Rotherham Titans

London Scottish v Ealing Trailfinders

 

Round 13 – January 1/2/3

London Welsh v Moseley

Ealing v Yorkshire Carnegie

Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates

Jersey v Doncaster Knights

Nottingham Rugby v Bristol Rugby

Bedford Blues v London Scottish

 

Round 14 – January 29/30/31

Bedford Blues v London Welsh

Moseley v Nottingham Rugby

Bristol Rugby v Jersey

Doncaster Knights v Rotherham Titans

Cornish Pirates v Ealing Trailfinders

London Scottish v Yorkshire Carnegie

 

Round 15 – February 5/6/7

Jersey v Moseley

Nottingham Rugby v Bedford Blues

Yorkshire Carnegie v Cornish Pirates

Ealing Trailfinders v Doncaster Knights

Rotherham Titans v Bristol Rugby

London Welsh v London Scottish

 

Round 16 – February 12/13/14

London Welsh v Nottingham Rugby

Bedford Blues v Jersey

Moseley v Rotherham Titans

Bristol Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders

Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie

London Scottish v Cornish Pirates

 

Round 17 – February 26/27/28

Ealing v Moseley

Rotherham Titans v Bedford Blues

Jersey v London Welsh

Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights

Yorkshire Carnegie v Bristol Rugby

Nottingham Rugby v London Scottish

 

Round 18 – March 4/5/6

Nottingham Rugby v Jersey

London Welsh v Rotherham Titans

Bedford Blues v Ealing Trailfinders

Moseley v Yorkshire Carnegie

London Scottish v Doncaster Knights

Bristol Rugby v Cornish Pirates

 

Round 19 – March 25/26/27

Cornish Pirates v Moseley

Yorkshire Carnegie v Bedford

Ealing Trailfinders v London Welsh

Rotherham Titans v Nottingham Rugby

Doncaster Knights v Bristol Rugby

Jersey v London Scottish

 

Round 20 – April 1/2/3

Jersey v Rotherham Titans

Nottingham Rugby v Ealing Trailfinders

London Welsh v Yorkshire Carnegie

Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates

Moseley v Doncaster Knights

London Scottish v Bristol Rugby

 

Round 21 – April 15/16/17

Bristol Rugby v Moseley

Doncaster Knights v Bedford Blues

Cornish Pirates v London Welsh

Yorkshire Carnegie v Nottingham Rugby

Ealing Trailfinders v Jersey

Rotherham Titans v London Scottish

 

Round 22 – April 23

Ealing Trailfinders v Rotherham Titans

Jersey v Yorkshire Carnegie

Nottingham Rugby v Cornish Pirates

London Welsh v Doncaster Knights

Bedford Blues v Bristol Rugby

Moseley v London Scottish

 

NB: All kick-off times and match dates to be confirmed by the club.

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Twenty-four IT announced as main 2015/16 shirt sponsor.

We are delighted to announce that Twenty Four IT Services will be the Knights main shirt sponsor for the 2015/16 season.

Ahead of what promises the be another exciting season at Castle Park, Doncaster based Twenty-Four IT have snapped up the main spot on the Knights playing jersey for the new campaign. The 2014/15 Doncaster Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year have been involved with the Club for the past three seasons but this year cemented the growing relationship to take centre stage.

 

The announcement comes at the end of the Knights first week of pre-season and we visited Twenty-Four IT’s headquarters yesterday, less than one mile from Castle Park, with a number of the Knights squad in tow to launch the new partnership.

Twenty-Four IT’s eye-catching purple branding will be clear for all to see next year as, not only have they agree to be the front of shirt sponsor, but have taken sponsorship of Castle Park’s symbolic terrace. Commenting on the partnership Louise Bond, Business Growth Advisor at Doncaster Chamber said.“We are delighted to see Doncaster Chamber members working in partnership for the greater good of the local economy.

 

“It’s great that these partnerships have been developed through opportunities presented by the Chamber. We will continue to support both businesses through their memberships and hope to be able to provide similar opportunities for other members.”

 

Twenty Four IT do a superb job manning all of Castle Park’s technical support if you, or a business you know, need managed IT Support you can find out all about them on their website – www.twentyfourit.co.uk.

The Knights 2015/16 kit design will be released in the next few days and you can pre-order your shirt at reception by calling 01302 831388 or emailing reception@castle-park.co.uk.

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The Rugby World Cup comes to Castle Park!

Webb Ellis Cup to visit Castle Park as part of Rugby World Cup 2015 Trophy Tour

On August 6th rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, will visit Doncaster’s home of Rugby, Castle Park, as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

 

Launched on June 10th, 100 days from the opening match, the Rugby World Cup Trophy will travel through Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England before arriving at Twickenham Stadium on September 18th ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

 

As part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, Castle Park will welcome the Webb Ellis Cup between 12:00-14:00 with supporters invited to come and get a picture with the Trophy and members of the Knights playing squad.

 

The Cup will take pride of place in the De Mulder Lloyd Stand concourse where there will be a variety of entertainment including circus tricks and face painting. Food and drink will be available and a free ticket to Doncaster Knights’ pre-season fixture against Sedgley Park on August 22nd will be given with each food item purchased. Following the Trophy’s departure all attendees are invited to observe a live professional rugby training session as the Knights continue their rigorous pre-season schedule.

 

Doncaster Knights General Manager, Neil Holmes said. “We are delighted to be hosting the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour and offer supporters and children the opportunity to really engage with the Rugby World Cup campaign.

 

“Rugby World Cup 2015 will undoubtedly inspire many who haven’t previously been involved in Rugby either as a player or supporter and hosting the Trophy really gives us an opportunity to align ourselves with Community Rugby.

 

“There is no charge for entry or to have a photo taken so we really hope as many people as possible are able to get involved.”

 

The journey throughout the UK and Ireland aims to engage fans and give them the opportunity to build unforgettable memories as part of their own Rugby World Cup 2015 story.

 

With less than three months to go, the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour across the UK and Ireland will create hundreds of opportunities for fans to see the Webb Ellis Cup and tell their rugby story as they countdown to their own Tournament experience.

 

Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour information can be viewed at rugbyworldcup.com/trophy-tour.

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Demons determined to build on last season’s success.

2014/15 was a fantastic year for rugby at Castle Park with various sections of the Club enjoying winning years.

The Knights comfortably secured their Championship status with games to spare, the Phoenix and the Colts were crowned Champions of their respective divisions but the success was not limited to the male teams as Doncaster Demons enjoyed another prosperous campaign.

A league record of played 14, won 11, drawn 2 and lost 1 saw Castle Park’s Ladies division narrowly miss out on the league top spot but guaranteed promotion to Women’s NC North 1 league for the 2015/16 campaign. The ladies also carded the best defensive record of the division….Griff would be proud!

The impressive season saw a handful of Demons picked for regionals honours as; Clare Boot, Laura French, Keeta Rowlands and Lucy Walker starred for Yorkshire in an undefeated campaign for the White Rose County.

The ladies are now focused on carrying last year’s success forward and will begin pre-season training next month at Castle Park. The team are always on the look out for new players and supporters so if you, or someone you know, fancy trying your hand at Ladies Rugby do not hesitate to get in touch on email at doncasterdemons@hotmail.com or by calling Laura on 07894856795.

The Demons’ season begins on Sunday, August 30th at Castle Park and their full fixtures can be found below.

Fixtures 2015/16

30/08/15 Doncaster v Chester
20/09/25 Hull v Doncaster
11/10/15 Doncaster v Sefton
1/11/15 Halifax v Doncaster
8/11/15 Doncaster v Ormskirk
29/11/15 Vagabond v Doncaster
17/01/16 Doncaster v Hull
24/01/16 Sefton v Doncaster
14/02/16 Doncaster v Halifax
21/02/16 Ormskirk v Doncaster
6/03/16 Doncaster v Vagabond
20/03/16 Chester v Doncaster

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Hooker Stagg joins from Albion.

Ted Stagg becomes the Knights second new arrival of the day as his signing from Plymouth Albion is confirmed.

 

The 25-year-old hooker arrives at Castle Park with a wealth of Championship experience having spent several seasons around the division.

 

Born in Taunton, Stagg spent seven years in the Bath Rugby academy; picking up national honours with England at Under 16 & 18 level during his time at The Rec. In the summer of 2011 Ted signed for Rotherham Titans seeking more regular first team rugby and an impressive campaign at Clifton Lane saw him picked for the Championship Select XV that faced the Maori All Blacks at Castle Park.

 

London Scottish moved for the front rower ahead of the 2013/14 campaign and he made 12 league appearances for the Exiles before a switch to Brickfields last summer where Ted quickly became a mainstay of the Albion starting XV.

 

Ted joined up with the rest of the Knights squad this morning for the first day of pre-season training and states he’s delighted to become a Knight. ‘I’m very excited about the coming season here at Doncaster.

 

“Having spoken to Clive at length, it is clear that he has great ambitions for the club, the squad is looking strong and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that moving forward.’

 

Ted will be one of three hookers battling it out for starting berth in the new season following the announcement last week the Vili Veikoso would be rejoining the squad post World Cup. Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths believes that strong competition for places can only be a good thing. “Ted has been on the circuit for a few years and knows the Championship inside out.

 

“He’s played at Rotherham and London Scottish as well as Plymouth last season and brings a wealth of experience and expertise beyond his years.

 

“There will be some really fierce competition for places now in the two jersey with him, Vili and Ben which will only benefit us over the course of the season.”

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Flying Jim announced as latest acquisition.

On the day the Knights begin pre-season training full back Jim Wigglesworth is added to the squad having signed for the 2015/16 season from Championship rivals Bedford Blues.

 

Knights fans may recall the fullback/winger as he touched down for the Blues at Castle Park in the British and Irish Cup clash between the two sides last October.

 

Hailing from Derbyshire, Jim originally began playing the game’s 13-a-side code with Derby before being picked up by Championship Rugby Union outfit Nottingham Rugby. During his spell with the Green and Whites Wigglesworth spent time on loan at Hull RUFC and came into his own, earning a call up to the England Counties U20 squad which, in turn, lead to a full England Counties call up shortly after.

 

Jim spent the summer of 2012 playing for Super League Hull FC’s U20 side but returned to union and Hull RUFC for the 2012/13 season, the year Jim touch down for 18 tries and received another England Counties call up before joining Cambridge for the 2013/14 campaign.

 

Another impressive season in English Rugby’s fourth flight followed with the Blood and Sands and Jim signed for Bedford last summer. The 22-year-old made an impressive start to life in the Championship but since found his opportunities limited at Goldington Road, sitting behind the Blues’ all time leading point scorer and Canadian international full back James Pritchard.

 

The speedster will now hope to break in to the Knights impressive new-look backline and is relishing a return to Yorkshire. “I am really looking forward to joining the Knights this season, moving back to Yorkshire is a little like coming home for me.

 

“From what I know about Doncaster it seems like a great family club which is really important to me.

 

“I’ve always admired Castle Park, it is a great place to play rugby and it’s a good feeling to be able to call it home.

 

“My Girlfriend and her family are certainly happy that I’ll be playing in God’s Home County this season.”

 

Jim and his Knights teammates arrived at Castle Park this morning as 2015/16 preparations began in earnest.

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