Super season ticket partnership savings.

Today is final day to take advantage of the 2017/18 Season Ticket Early Bird savings so do not delay and book yours today.  

In addition to saving precious pounds, compared to buying on the gate, Knights Season Ticket holders can now enjoy fantastic offers with a variety of our club partners.

As a Knights Season Ticket holder you can enjoy a free week long trial membership at Nuffield Health Doncaster Fitness & Wellbeing Gym, simply call 01302 365588 and arrange your trial date before producing proof of your Season Ticket purchase.

2017/18 Holders are now also able to enjoy 25% off food at the Crown Hotel, Bawtry.

Simply pre-book by calling 01302 710341 and quote ‘Doncaster Knights Crown Restaurant Offer’ to receive up to 25% off for up to a table of four from the Crown A La Carte or main menu. *

Finally, a Knights season ticket could save you money if you’re thinking of moving house with Club Sponsors Hunters Estate Agents.

Simply arrange a free, no hassle valuation by calling 01302 710773 and when the valuer arrives present your Season Ticket and if Hunter’s market your property fees will be reduced by 25%. 

For the rugby diehards you can also add a Doncaster Phoenix Season Tickets bolt on to your Knights Season Ticket for just £50, saving £5 versus buying individually

Keep an eye out for more fantastic Season ticket savings coming soon.

*Not available Saturday, Sunday lunch.

 

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Exciting horizons for fledgling Academy.

The Academy in association with University Centre Doncaster enjoyed a fine debut season in the British University & College Sport [BUCS] competitions last season and look set to build on that in 2017/18.

Following an opening day defeat to Durham the Donny young guns went unbeaten for the rest of the season culminating in winning the BUCS Northern Conference Plate.

Coached by DRFC Rugby Development Manager Ants Posa and Knights winger Tyson Lewis the Academy show no signs of slowing down and have welcomed some exciting new additions into the squad, some of whom will join the Knights from day one of pre-season.

“It’s been agreed by Clive and the Knights coaching team that eight of the Academy will start pre-season with the Knights; with the rest of the squad beginning their own pre-season in the first week of July.” Commented Posa.

Two of the eight are new arrivals at the Academy and the former Croatian international is quite excited about the additions.  “We’re delighted to have recruited a few new faces to the team, particularly our two Sams; Sam Pocklington and Sam Brooke.

“Sam Pocklington is a scrum half and joins with some real pedigree having represented England Counties U18 and featuring for Rotherham Titans against the Knights in the British and Irish Cup last year.

“He’s really keen to be part of what we’re doing here in the Academy and make sure he fulfills his rugby potential and we give him the opportunity to do so.

“Sam Brooke is a local boy, he’s a stand off who got a lot of game time in the Phoenix 1st XV last season whilst still at school and it’s a massive positive for us to have him on board.

“He has huge potential and his work ethic is spot on, he is very coachable and I really think he is a young man that could push to play the game professionally.”

As preparations continue to build ahead of the new season, Ants states there are still opportunities within the Academy for 2017/18 and that it is a very exciting time to be a part of it. “We are still looking at bringing in new recruits to the Academy, if you love rugby and you want to see how far you can take it whilst studying for a real-world qualification I can’t think of many better places to be.

“I do believe what we offer is truly unique, the lads that prove themselves capable get the opportunity to train with the Knights and all players have chance to compete in the national leagues with Doncaster Phoenix.

“On top of that we have our Academy programme as we look to move up the BUCS standings, all the while making sure you have that qualification at the end of it also.”

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about the DC Academy of Sport contact Russ Horsley – Academy of Sport Manager on – 01302 553972 or email russ.horsley@don.ac.uk.

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Signing | Double trouble as Junior Bulumakau joins Andy at Knights.

The Knights are delighted to announce the signing of former Scotland Sevens Flier Junior Bulumakau from Glasgow Warriors.

A serving infantryman with The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Junior joined the Warriors ahead of the 2015/16 season having impressed for Heriot’s in the BT Scottish Premiership.

In May 2015 he scored a try for the British Army and was named Man of the Match in their 36-18 win over the Royal Navy in front of 80,000 supporters at Twickenham.

The 26-year-old repeated the feat in the 2017 Army vs Navy, Babcock Trophy, game last month; scooping Man of the Match and touching down twice in the Army’s 29-20 victory.

Bulumakau’s impact for the Warriors was immediate as he scored a stunning individual try from the halfway line on debut against French Top 14 powerhouse Clermont in pre-season. Despite the fine start Junior found his opportunities limited at Scotstoun making just eight first team appearances, nonetheless, leaving with a record of three tries from five starts.

The Fijian born ace will link up with the Knights squad for pre-season having signed at Castle Park for 2017/18 which means linking up with younger brother Andy, a prospect Junior says he is relishing. “I’m very much looking forward to joining Doncaster Knights alongside my brother next season, I haven’t played with Andy since we were in school which is very exciting.

“I’ve only heard good things about the setup, team and coaches which is easily seen from the on field success, reaching the playoff final and semi-final in the last two seasons and I hope to contribute to further success.

“I would like to thank the Army for their full support whilst remaining a serving soldier.”

Junior becomes the Knights ninth new signing of the summer as the 2017/18 squad takes another step towards completion and Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths admits he’s relishing welcoming another Bulumakau into the squad. “Junior’s style is similar to Andy’s in that he is very creative going forward, if anyone saw his recent Man of the Match display in the Army/Navy game it just typified how he can play and his ability as a finisher.

“We’ve kept a close eye on him and watched his game tape from Glasgow and he has shown some really exciting play and also provides us with more versatility across the back line.

“It will be interesting to see two Bulumakau’s lining up together in a Donny shirt and will certainly give our opposition plenty to think about next season.”

Welcome Junior to the Knights family on twitter – @JuniorBulumakau

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Knights add Titans Foley to back division.

Clive Griffiths has further boosted his attacking options with the addition of utility back Charlie Foley from Rotherham Titans.

The former Titans play-maker is equally adept at fly-half and full-back but also capable right across the back division and will link up with his new teammates at Castle Park on June 19th; something Charlie says he’s very much looking forward to. “I’m very excited to be joining Doncaster Knights next season and looking forward to meeting up with the squad for the start of pre season.

“It will be great to play at a club with such fantastic facilities and very vocal support from the fans.”

The former Moseley man joined the Titans following two season in Birmingham where he established himself as a regular starter in the ten shirt. Foley quickly made his presence felt at Clifton Lane, linking up smartly with fellow new signing Will Owen to produce a last gasp victory over London Welsh on Titans debut last September.

The 25-year-old went onto make a number of telling contributions for Rotherham but will spend the 2017/18 season as a Knight as he becomes the Club’s eighth new signing of the summer and Griff believes he will bring plenty to the squad.  “Charlie is a very versatile player, he has plied his trade right across the backline during his career and will provide us with extra impetus as he looks to nail down a starting jersey whilst providing cover across several positions. 

“I have spoken about him with Kevin Maggs and Justin Burnell who he played under at Moseley and Rotherham respectively and have taken a lot of comfort from what they have told me as well as watching his game tape.

“He has a great eye for a gap and suits our style of play very well.”

Give Charlie a warm welcome into the Knights family, follow on twitter – @charliefoley10

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Knights confirm ten departures.

Doncaster Knights can today confirm the list of players leaving the Club this summer following the close of the 2016/17 campaign.  

In total, ten of the current squad will leave Castle Park following varying lengths of service with the Knights.

As previously communicated WillGriff John, Latu Makaafi, Jarad Williams and Sean Scanlon have completed moves to Sale, Coventry, Bedford and Nottingham respectively for the new season.

Meanwhile Sam Edgerley has accepted an offer to study for a Masters Degree in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford following two seasons at Castle Park.

Also departing is prop Robin Hislop, hooker Harry Allen, locks Ed Falkingham and Dave Nolan as well as former Australian International Beau Robinson.

Commenting on the departures Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths said. “I have written to each of the lads individually to thank them for their immense contribution and the way in which they have conducted themselves in their time at Castle Park. 

“Some have been with us for a long time like Latu, a Club centurion, and WillGriff whilst others only for a season but all have brought plenty into our group and now move on to the next stage of their careers.

“Every year we have to go through this process and whilst it is sad, it is also pleasing to see the likes of WillGriff progress to the Premiership – like Will Hurrell did last year. We see it as part of our culture to develop players for the very top level so it’s a feather in the cap of Doncaster Knights.

“We wish them all every success in their future endeavours and, once again, say thank you for being great servants of Doncaster Knights.”

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SIGNING | Knights sign Blues Hill.

The Knights are delighted to announce the signing of number eight Jason Hill from Bedford Blues.

The 27-year-old arrives following one season in Bedford where he made quite an impression with the home faithful picking up their Supporters Player of the Year award.

Prior to his move to Goldington Road, Hill had enjoyed plenty of success in his native Scotland; signing with Glasgow Warriors ahead of the 2015/16 campaign after a superb season with BT Scottish Premiership Outfit Heriots.   

The back-row played a significant role in the Edinburgh side’s tittle winning season and picked up a brace of trophies at the Scottish Rugby Club Awards dinner, taking the Premiership Player of the Season and bagging the Brigadier Frank Coutts Memorial Try of the Season silverware. 

These achievements were rewarded with a call up for the Scotland Club XV where he again shone in victory over Ireland Club XV scoring a fine individual try (watch here) and being named Man of the Match.

Hill is a powerful ball-carrier who can operate at both number 8 or blindside flanker, standing at 6ft 4in, weighing 108KG Jason will add even more physicality to the Knights impressive-looking new back row and the Scotsman says he can’t wait to get started. “I’m excited to be at Doncaster for the coming season. 

“They’re a well organised club with a great balance of size and speed, and joining such a team is going to allow me to keep developing my rugby skills”

Jason becomes the seventh new signing at Castle Park this summer and DoR Clive Griffiths is pleased to welcome him into the squad. “This past season Jason was honoured with the Bedford Supporters Player of the Year a great indication of the consistent form he has shown whilst representing Bedford.

“He is a strong ball carrying back row forward who also brings valuable Championship experience and knowledge to Castle Park. He will provide us with another attacking edge to our game.”

Why not welcome Jason into the #KnightsFamily on twitter @Jwhill8

 

 

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Castle Park playing surface to receive summer overhaul.

The main pitch at Castle Park is set to undergo an extensive off-season makeover this Summer.  The current playing surface will be ripped out and replaced with an Eclipse Stabilised Natural Turf pitch that meets IRB and national governing body regulations.  

Developed and installed by Lincolnshire-based company County Turf, the Eclipse pitch features 100% natural turf, grown in a unique stabilised mat built to meet the aesthetic and athletic demands of a top class sporting surface. 

The Eclipse Natural Turf system is used at some of the most renowned and iconic sporting stadia around the World, and already has a significant presence in rugby: Leicester Tigers home ground at Welford Road and Eden Park are two examples that use the next generation turf technology.  Other stadia with the system include The MCC, ANZ Stadium and National Stadium of Singapore.

The newly laid pitch is not like 4G surfaces currently popular in many sporting facilities, it is100% natural grass and maintained in exactly the same traditional turf pitches. Investing in the new surface is part of a long-term development plan for the betterment of playing facilities at Castle Park. 

The new pitch will be able to sustain increased use with less deterioration which will in turn lighten the burden on the other four playing surfaces and affirm Castle Park as one of the finest rugby facilities in the North of England. 

Time line.

– The posts on the main pitch will be removed this week and set aside for refurbishment.

– Ground work on the main pitch will commence on 22 May – first to remove the top surface prior to the installation of a full drainage system linked to 35 Rain-bird pop-up irrigators (20 around the edge of the pitch and 15 within the pitch area). 

– Once the ground works are complete, the Eclipse Hybrid matt will be laid and the pitch seeded. 

– First use of the main pitch will be possible over the weekend of 26-28 August 2017 which will coincide with Doncaster Knights only home, pre-season friendly. Details of that match and other pre-season away fixtures will be released in the weeks ahead.

Fans will be able to keep track of the pitch development through a DKTV video diary which will detail the progress of the installation throughout the Summer. 

Outer Pitches

The Club has taken advice on how to extend the use of the outer pitches with the ever increasing demand for their use.  Following that advice, one pitch will be renovated then set aside for a year to let the grass become well established and deep routed. 

This Spring will be the start of a 3 year rolling programme with Pitch 2 the first to be set aside.  Renovation work on Pitches 3 & 4 and the two Mini Junior pitches will commence this week; thereafter, all those playing surfaces will be unavailable until the weekend of 2 – 4 September 2017.  

***Do not fret the Castle Park posts have not been stolen, just a bit of fun on a Monday morning***

Dan Gill’s Funeral Service

The Funeral Service will take place at St Stephen’s Church, Careby, on Wednesday 24th May at 11.30 a.m. The address of the Church is 3 Main St, Careby, PE9 4EA. 
 
Dan’s Family have extended an invitation to all who are attending to take refreshments at the Family home after the Service. There is ample parking available at the Church, where cars can be left for the wake which is a very short walk from St Stephen’s Church. 
 
The Family have asked that no flowers are sent.  They are supporting two charities: the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance and the Trussell Trust Food Bank in Rutland. Donations can be made through RJ Scholes Funeral Service, St Georges Street, Stamford PE9 2BJ (Tel: 01780 763 092). 
 
The Club has been asked to provide an indication of the number of Club Members’ and Staff attending to enable them to make suitable arrangements.  If you are attending the Funeral, please make a courtesy call to Castle Park Reception (Tel: 01302 831 388) or e-mail reception@castle-park.co.uk before the end of business on Monday, 22 May.
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Knights trio make Rugby Paper Dream XV.

Knights trio Paul Jarvis, Jack Ram and Tyson Lewis have all been named in The Rugby Paper [TRP]  Dream XV for 2016/17. 

For Ram and Jarvis, it is the second select XV they have made this season having also been picked in the RFU’s equivalent side.

Tyson Lewis’ selection comes after finishing the 2016/17 season as the Championship’s top try-scorer with fourteen touchdowns to his name and is his second inclusion in the TRP Dream XV as a Knight, having also been selected in the National One parallel in 2013/14.

All three players have committed to the Knights for 2017/18 so, fingers crossed, Knights fans can look forward to more division-leading performances to come next season.

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Signings | Knights duo back on board for 2017/18

The Knights are delighted to announce the re-signing of both centre Andy Bulumakau and back row Aaron Carpenter for the 2017/18 campaign.

Both players featured heavily in the Knights end of season run into the play-offs this term and will now extend their stay at Castle Park till, at least, the end of next season.

24-year-old Andy Bulumakau signed with the Knights in 2014 from Aviva Premiership heavyweights Gloucester and has been entertaining fans since, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Swansea RFC.

Andy has been one of the Knights most potent attacking threats in recent seasons, highlighted by his back-to-back winning on the Club’s Try of the Season award. He has made 15 starts this campaign, including in each of the last eight and his brace versus Yorkshire Carnegie sealed March’s derby triumph.

Commenting on securing Andy’s services for a fourth season DoR Clive Griffiths said. “We’re extremely pleased that Andy will continue his love affair with the Knights next year.

“His recent displays have shown just how important he is to us with his Man of the Match performance versus Yorkshire Carnegie being an obvious highlight.

“His game is developing and maturing on a daily basis and he will now continue to add speed and power to our already pacey back division.”

Joining Andy in recommitting to the Knights is Canadian International skipper Aaron Carpenter who, like Bulumakau, was quick to make an impression at Castle Park scoring on his home debut against Ealing Trailfinders.

Carpenter arrived at Castle Park from London Welsh in January and has been a regular fixture in the Knights back row ever since.

Aaron will continue to compete with the likes of Alex Shaw, Jack Ram and Michael Hills next season all of whom are back on board for the new campaign.

The 34-year-old will link back up with the Knights following his international commitments with the Canucks this summer as the flanker is aiming to equal Al Charron’s international appearance record of 76 set fourteen years ago.   

“Aaron has done a magnificent job since he arrived from London Welsh, he provides us with extra leadership and much valuable experience in the eight jersey.” Said Griffiths, adding. 

“I am very happy to have Aaron back on board next season and, without wishing to tempt fate, congratulate him in advance of him becoming Canada’s all time record cap holder this summer.”

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Battling Knights run Irish close at the Mad Stad.

London Irish 39-22 Doncaster Knights.

London Irish progressed to the Greene King IPA Championship finals with a 74-25 aggregate win over the Knights but were given plenty of headaches in the semi-final second leg by a committed Donny side that battled from minute one to eighty.

The Knights arrived at the Madejski Stadium faced with the highly improbable task of overturning a 32-point deficit but were determined to give a more accurate reflection of their capabilities than they head in the previous two head to heads and they did just that. Outscored by five tries to the three, the Knights showed they are capable of hurting the Exiles but, ultimately, the regular season proved just too powerful.

The early signs were concerning with the Knights struggling to sustain much possession and the Irish backs looking dangerous from the get go with Joe Cokanasiga and Aseli Tikoirotuma asking questions of the Donny defensive line.

The early siege produced points before long with the Irish driving line out doing damage as it did three times last weekend.

Hooker David Paice worked his way to the back of a well-formed maul and the former England international recorded his third try of the semi-finals. Tommy bell added the extras to compound a poor start for Donny.

The travelling support might have been worried as to how bad it could get for the Knights but they needn’t have. The try rallied the Donny troops as they began to weave phases of play together and make significant gains with powerful carries from the likes of Jack Ram and Jarad Williams.

Patient attacks and good territory attained through the half back combo of Simon Humberstone and Michael Heaney who did well to pin Irish deep in their own half for much of the first half. One particular touch finder from Humberstone forced full back Tommy Bell to carry the ball to touch in his own five-metre. From the line out the Knights forward could not quite establish the maul but carried furiously creating a slight gap for Jack Ram who charged over to score.

Unfortunately, Irish forged an immediate response with their hard-hitting defence coming up trumps. A booming hit on Humberstone by Fergus Mulchrone forced a fumbled which was hacked forward. Paul Jarvis did well to race back and retrieve possession but, under heavy duress, the full back gave up a penalty which was quickly taken. 

With the Knights expecting a kick at goal the ball was spun wide at pace where Alex Lewington produced a fine finish to extend the Irish lead. Bell’s conversion making the score 14-8.

The game’s second quarter belonged to Donny as they carried the fight with aggressive and committed play to hammer dints into the Exiles exalted defence. Opportunities came and Dougie Flockhart added a penalty shortly after the Lewington try when Irish were penalized post line out.

Possession and momentum stayed with the Knights but, as they have done so often this season, Irish created an opportunity from a seemingly innocuous position.

A quickly taken line out set the Irish backs in motion and with Donny scrambling back Ben Hunter gave up a penalty at the ruck which Bell slotted, 17-8.

Jack Ram almost provided an immediate response for the Knights as he broke into the home 22m on a purposeful run, unfortunately the Tongan was cut down just short but Donny would not be denied for long.

With little time left in the half the Knights put a penalty to touch and set about driving towards the home line. The initial drive was stopped but, with the vision and pace of a wing-heeled scrum half, Matt Challinor darted down the blindside to round the cover and score. Flockhart nailed the conversion to bring the score to 17-15 and shortly after referee Matt O’Grady blew for half time.

It was always going to be difficult to carry the level of intensity shown in the opening forty into the second half and Irish struck quickly following the restart.

A penalty against Flockhart for a high tackle was put to the corner and the machine-like home driving maul rolled over the whitewash with Ben Franks getting the score.

Replacement hooker Dave Porecki went over in very similar fashion just before the hour mark and it looked as if Irish might run away with the game but the Knights were not done.

Good work from Ram saw the flanker force a penalty as the Irish midfield looked to recover a loose pass just outside their 22m.

Humberstone kicked to touch and Dave Nelson launched a long line out over the top of his forwards into the hands of Lloyd Hayes. Hayes charged into the heart of the home defence before possession was spun wide and collected by Joe Sproston who, with probably his first touch of the game, barged through traffic to dot down. Dougie added the extras to make it a ten-point game; 32-22.

As the clocked ticked towards eighty both coaches made full use of their replacements and Donny tried to force attacking play to claw themselves back into it. It was not to be and in the dying moments replacement scrum half Scott Steele dotted down to confirm the Irish win.

A defeat on the day but the Knights certainly gave the regular season Champions food for thought in a performance the whole squad can be pleased with.

Thank you very much for the fantastic support once again this season, we look forward to seeing you again in 2017/18!

London Irish XV: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Joe Cokanasiga (Greig Tonks, 10 James Marshall, 9 Brendan McKibbin (Scott Steele 62’), 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Tom Court 64’), 2 David Paice (c) (Dave Porecki 55’), 3 Ben Franks (Ollie Hoskins 54’), 4 Sebastian De Chaves (George Robson 57’), 5 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Mike Coman (Conor Gilsenan 57’), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Ofisa Treviranus

Replacements: 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 George Robson, 20 Conor Gilsenan, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Greig Tonks

Tries; Paice 12’, Lewington 21’, Franks 43’, Porecki 57’, Steel 73’

Conv; Bell 12’, 21’, 57’, 73’

Pens; Bell 31’, 50’

 

Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Lloyd Hayes, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone (Dec Cusack 66’), 9) Michael Heaney (Sam Edgerley 63’), 1) Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 54’), 2) Ben Hunter (Dave Nelson 60’), 3) WillGriff John (Joe Sproston 60’), 4) Matt Challinor (Dave Nolan 63′), 5) Jarad Williams, 6) Jack Ram, 7) Michael Hills (Aaron Carpenter 65’), 8) Alex Shaw. 

Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Dave Nelson, 18) Joe Sproston, 19) Dave Nolan, 20) Aaron Carpenter, 21) Sam Edgerley, 22) Dec Cusack.

Tries; Ram 19’, Challinor 36’, Sproston 61’

Conv; Flockhart 36’, 62’

Pens; Flockhart 26’

 

Referee; Matt O’Grady

Attendance; 4,644

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