Match day rewind | Knights vs Sedgley Park

The latest edition of match day rewind comes from 2008 as the Knights take on Manchester’s Sedgley Park.

Knights XV | 15 Anthony Carter 14 Wes Davies 13 Hudson Tonga’uiha 12 Bevon Armitage 11 Donovan Van Vuuren 10 Jamie Lennard 9 Jamie Albinson 1 Toma Toke 2 Simon Jenkins 3 Michael Cusack 4 Bryn Griffiths 5 Glen Kenworthy 6 Joshua Afu 7 Simon Grainger 8 Chris Planchant
Replacements | 16 Richard List 17 Tom Davies 18 Dan Smith 19 Neil Cochrane 20 Chris Hallam 21 Ali Warnock 22 George Hughes
Sedgley Park XV | 15 Matt Riley 14 Peter Swatkins 13 Chris Hall 12 Josh Weedon 11 Paul Wilcock 10 Phil Jones 9 Chris Wilkinson  1 Phil Gazzola 2 Johnny Roddam 3 Petrus Du Plessis 4 Tim Fourie 5 Glen Towson 6 James Jones 7 Adam Newton 7 Oliver Cook
Replacements | 16 Gerald Evans 17 Gareth Roberts 18 Dean Williams 19 Juan Crous 20 Paul Urmston
Ref Chris Sharp

Match day rewind | Knights vs Rotherham Rugby.

This weekend’s throwback game comes from 2008 against them lot down the road. 

Spot a young Matt Challinor lining up for the Titans in this classic from Clifton Lane.

Team news below, enjoy!

Knights | 15 Anthony Carter 14 Wes Davies 13 Hudson Tonga’uiha 12 Bevon Armitage 11 Donovan Van Vuuren 10 Ali Warnock 9 Chris Hallam 1 Tom Davies 2 Steve Boden 3 Ngalu Tau 4 Bryn Griffiths 5 Glen Kenworthy 6 Josh Afu 7 Simon Grainger 8 Chris Planchant

Replacements | 16 Neil Cochrane 17 Simon Jenkins 18 Michael Cusack 19 Adam Kettle 20 Jamie Albinson 21 Jamie Lennard 22 Steve McColl

Rotherham | 15 Brad Hunt 14 Jon Feeley 13 Nick Buckley 12 Chris Briers 11 Errie Classsens 10 Michael Whitehead
9 Neil Chivers 1 Stuart Corsair 2 Nigel Conroy 3 Ben Prescott 4 Matt Challinor 5 Gregor Hayter 6 Andrew Barnes 7 Tinus Du Plessis 8 Jon Skurr

Replacements | 16 Hugo Horn 17 Hiroshi Tea 18 Louis McGowan 19 Stewart Ault 20 Ryan Burrows 21 Tom Barlow 22 Chad Erskine

Ref Andrew Taylorson

Crowd. 2548

DRFC awarded £5,000 through Sport England Grant.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant, along with the support of our benefactors & Crowdfunder contributors will allow DRFC to cover on-going costs and maintenance despite all revenue streams halting.

Michael Casey DRFC Commercial Manager, said:

“The Sport England Grant is a fantastic boost to the Club is these challenging times.

“Alongside with the immense support of those who contributed to our Crowfunder campaign and the unerring backing of our sponsors and benefactors DRFC will be in the best possible position to deliver rugby to the Community again once it is safe to do so.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said:

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Doncaster RFC to help it through these extremely challenging times.”

Young prop Wayland latest to come on-board.

The Knights summer recruitment continues with the addition of exciting young front row James Wayland.

Born in Sydney, the 22-year-old signs with the Knights having spent the 2019/20 season with Jersey Reds.

The loose head made four appearances in his debut Championship campaign, catching the eye with his aggressive ball carrying and defence.

Wayland is another prospect that Head Coach Steve Boden sees rich potential in and believes the youngster could go a long way. “James comes highly recommend by someone who I trust. At 22 he is young for a prop but from what we’ve seen, if he’s patient and works hard on his game he’s got big potential.

“He is dynamic and aggressive in the loose, as with any 22- year-old prop, his set piece will need developing but we’re excited to see how he can grow in our environment next season.”

James secured his move to Jersey after turning heads with Southern Districts in Australia’s Shute Shield competition and is back with his hometown Club currently while we await the start of the new season.

Southern Districts made a winning start to their Shute campaign, with James scoring in a 34-9 win over Eastwood at the weekend and he will be hoping to continue his good form when he moves to England. “I’m super excited to start a new chapter with Doncaster and I can’t wait to get over there, rip in and show what I am capable of.

“I love the physical running style that Doncaster want to play and I think I can contribute positively.

“Steve’s [Boden] vision really attracted me to sign with Doncaster and his knowledge around the set piece; it’s a part of my game that I continually want to improve as I mature as a prop.”

James’ signing takes the number of Knights confirmed for 2020/21 to twenty-eight.

2020/2021 current squad. 

ANDREW FOSTER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], KYLE EVANS [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], MATT SMITH [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], REISS CULLEN [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], SAM OLVER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR].

CHARLIE FOLEY [RETAINED 1 YEAR], HOWARD PACKMAN [RETAINED 1 YEAR], WILL HOLLING [RETAINED 1 YEAR], MATT CHALLINOR [RETAINED 1 YEAR], SAM POCKLINGTON [RETAINED 1 YEAR], ROBIN HISLOP [RETAINED 2 YEARS], BEN HUNTER [RETAINED 1 YEAR].

JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] MARK BEST [NEW SIGNING 1 + 1 YEAR] JAMES MITCHELL [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] CONOR JOYCE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] TOM HILL [SIGNING 2 YEARS] SAM GRAHAM [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BILLY MCBRYDE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JAMES NEWEY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK DAVIES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JOE JONES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] GEORGE ROBERTS [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JACK SPITTLE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK ROUSE [ONE SEASON LOAN] JOHN KELLY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], GAZ DENMAN [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JAMES WAYLAND [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR]

Yorkshireman Denman signs from Cov.

Doncaster Knights are delighted to announce the signing of prop forward Gareth Denman from Coventry for the 2020/21 season.

Following the decision to release Ben Betts from his contract by mutual consent, Head Coach Steve Boden has moved quickly to fill the vacant tight head position & is delighted to have secured Gareth’s services. “Gaz is a fantastic signing for us and we’re really glad to have captured his signature so quickly.

“He has proven himself at the highest level and brings a wealth of experience to balance a young squad. It’s also great that he’s a local lad from South Yorkshire.”

The 29-year-old arrives with an impressive resume having spent the majority of his career in the top flight.

During a four-year stint with Northampton Saints, the powerful front-rower was involved in Saints’ Aviva Premiership and European Challenge Cup double-winning season in 2013/14 then appeared for England against the Barbarians 12 months later.

Gaz signed with Gloucester in 2017 and made 22 appearances for the Cherry-and-whites before moving to the Butts Park Arena last summer.

The Yorkshireman quickly established himself as a starter for Cov, making fifteen appearances, as the West Midlanders recorded a top four finish.

Despite an impressive campaign Gaz was released by Coventry as the Club look to reduce their playing squad following the RFU cuts in central funding and the ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

With his future now secured the former Carnegie & Titans front rower is looking to seize this new opportunity back in the White Rose County.  “After being released by Coventry due to their financial difficulties, I jumped at the chance to play in my home county of Yorkshire.

“I am really looking forward to pulling the Knights shirt on and playing at Castle Park.

Bodes has a good reputation for getting the best out of his front row players and I know he places huge emphasis on the set piece which was music to my ears!

“The squad that has been assembled is young, hungry and ambitious and I am looking forward to the season starting and watching the youth of the team flourish.

“I hope bringing my experience to the squad will help us to be a real force in the Championship and I’m excited to be part of the journey ahead.”

Gareth comes into the squad in place of Ben Betts meaning that there are twenty-seven players confirmed for the 2020/21 season.

2020/2021 current squad. 

ANDREW FOSTER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], KYLE EVANS [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], MATT SMITH [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], REISS CULLEN [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], SAM OLVER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR].

CHARLIE FOLEY [RETAINED 1 YEAR], HOWARD PACKMAN [RETAINED 1 YEAR], WILL HOLLING [RETAINED 1 YEAR], MATT CHALLINOR [RETAINED 1 YEAR], SAM POCKLINGTON [RETAINED 1 YEAR], ROBIN HISLOP [RETAINED 2 YEARS], BEN HUNTER [RETAINED 1 YEAR].

JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] MARK BEST [NEW SIGNING 1 + 1 YEAR] JAMES MITCHELL [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] CONOR JOYCE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] TOM HILL [SIGNING 2 YEARS] SAM GRAHAM [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BILLY MCBRYDE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JAMES NEWEY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK DAVIES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JOE JONES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] GEORGE ROBERTS [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JACK SPITTLE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK ROUSE [ONE SEASON LOAN] JOHN KELLY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], GAZ DENMAN [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR

Match day Rewind | Knights vs Cardiff 2010

Tune in tomorrow at 14:30 for a link to the Knights 2009/10 British & Irish Cup home tie against Cardiff. 
Team news below from this classic from February 2010 will be posted at 14:30 tomorrow.

Knights XV | 15.Anthony Carter, 14 Andy Wright, 13 Chris Briers, 12 Bevon Armitage, 11 Matt Williams, 10 Ali Warnock, 9 Matt D’Arcy, 1 Ngalu Ta’u, 2 Steve Boden, 3 Michael Cusack, 4 Bryn Griffiths, 5 Glen Kenworthy, 6 Matt Lowcock, 7 Neil Cochrane, 8 Andy Boyde
Replacements16 Stuart Corsair, 17 Steve Lawrie, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 Chris Bundy, 20 Glen Townson, 21 Nicky Griffiths, 22 Steve McColl.
Cardiff XV | 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Ryan Howells, 13 Gareth Chapman, 12 Darren Ryan, 11 Matthew John, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Tom Slater, 1 Ian George, 2 Rhys James, 3 Kristin Gray, 4 Matt Weaver, 5 Ashley Sweet, 6 Adam Powell, 7 Jake Thomas, 8 Dan Godfrey.
Replacements | 16 Nick Hampson, 17 Chris Anderson, 18 Gary Lucas, 19 Jimmy Norris, 20 Dan Matthews, 21, Leighton Davies, 22 Cory Hill.

Ben Betts released from Knights contract.

Doncaster Knights have agreed to release prop forward Ben Betts from his contract ahead the 2020/21 season.

The former Ireland Under 20s star was due to join the Knights for the new season after it was announced he had signed from Ealing Trailfinders in June. However, the 23-year-old has now decided to focus on interests outside of rugby, stepping away from the professional game to transition into full time employment back in Ireland.

Commenting on the decision, Head Coach Steve Boden said. “It is disappointing to lose Ben for the upcoming season but we respect his decision and wish him every success for the future as he moves away from full time professional rugby.

“The decision does mean that we are now a man down in the tight head position and efforts to recruit a suitable replacement are well underway, fingers crossed we should be able to announce more later this week.”

 

England Counties lock Kelly signs from Plymouth.

The Knights have added another piece to the puzzle with the acquisition of second-row John Kelly from Plymouth Albion.

24-year-old Kelly signs having been one of Albion’s most consistent performers in recent season, having clocked over 50 senior appearances despite his relative lack of years.

John’s efforts for Plymouth saw him selected to the Devon senior side where he caught the eye of the England Counties selectors and was picked to tour Georgia last summer; featuring as England drew the two-match series.

Capable also in the back row, John fits the bill for new Head Coach Steve Boden as a relatively untapped young talent looking to take his game to the next level. “John is someone who we think has the potential to become a consistent performer in the Championship.

“There are areas for development within his game and he will need to settle in a professional environment but he has raw ability to carry the ball and a physicality that we like and it will be interesting to see how he develops at Castle Park.”

Before arriving at Brickfields, the Plymouth University graduate made his mark in National Two South with Exmouth, stringing together a series of impressive performances following his debut in January 2017.

John has also represented Exeter Chiefs’ outreach side against the Royal Navy U23s but is now committed to being part of a successful new era for Doncaster Knights under Steve Boden. “I was attracted to sign with Donny because of Steve’s plans and vision for the Club.

“He has high prospects for the Knights and I believe we can do well and become a force over the coming seasons”

John’s signing takes the total of confirmed 2020/21 squad members to twenty-seven.

2020/2021 current squad. 

ANDREW FOSTER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], KYLE EVANS [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], MATT SMITH [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], REISS CULLEN [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], SAM OLVER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR].

CHARLIE FOLEY [RETAINED 1 YEAR], HOWARD PACKMAN [RETAINED 1 YEAR], WILL HOLLING [RETAINED 1 YEAR], MATT CHALLINOR [RETAINED 1 YEAR], SAM POCKLINGTON [RETAINED 1 YEAR], ROBIN HISLOP [RETAINED 2 YEARS], BEN HUNTER [RETAINED 1 YEAR].

JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] MARK BEST [NEW SIGNING 1 + 1 YEAR] JAMES MITCHELL [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] CONOR JOYCE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] TOM HILL [SIGNING 2 YEARS] SAM GRAHAM [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BILLY MCBRYDE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BEN BETTS [NEW SIGNING 2 YEARS] JAMES NEWEY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK DAVIES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JOE JONES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] GEORGE ROBERTS [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JACK SPITTLE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK ROUSE [ONE SEASON LOAN] JOHN KELLY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR].

 

We did it | £50,000!

After 73 days of fundraising our Crowdfunder appeal hit the extended target of £50,000!

The total now stands at £50,450 with donations coming from 278 supporters – a truly incredible show of support from all associated with Doncaster RFC.

The generosity shown by the Friends of Doncaster Rugby has highlighted how important the Club is to so many and few have been as touched by the level of support as DRFC Executive Chairman Tony De Mulder.

“I started playing for the Club 58 years ago in 1962 and in all that time I have never experienced anything like the problems that we face at the moment as a result of Covid-19.

“When Michael Casey suggested organising a Crowdfunder campaign I thought it was a very good idea but for it to have raised over £50,000 is truly incredible.

“Friends of DRFC have shown a huge depth of feeling and support for the Club which has shown to me how much people care which I have found most humbling & gratifying.

“We are now in a good position for the commencement of the playing season & the support shown has made a terrific difference. I would like to say a huge thank you to you all and I look forward to everybody back at Castle Park as soon as it is safe.” 

Having already expressed his gratitude and happiness at the appeal’s success in an interview for DRFC last month, Club President Steve Lloyd added that it had been A fantastic Crowdfunder from a Fantastic Group of People & a big, big thank you”

The campaign was set up at the beginning of May to help bridge the shortfall created by the Coronavirus Pandemic with Castle Park closed & unable to generate any income through rugby or other functions.

Friends of the Doncaster Rugby were invited to donate or forward pay for a range of rewards and offers, from match day tickets and merchandise all the way up to coaching opportunities with the Knights players and staff.

For every £100 raised we will donate a match ticket to the Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS staff meaning over 500 tickets will be making their way to the Trust shortly.

Donations flooded came via all sections of the Club from life members, to casual users of the venue and beyond. Supporter groups such as the Knights of the Roundy Tables & Supporters Coach contributed as did a range of commercial partners.

A number of supporters chose to donate to the Club directly rather than via the Crowdfunder page meaning the true total is actually in excess of £55,000 & every penny will be spent on funding essential Club costs & maintenance

As a thank you the name of every support will be etched into next season’s home jersey and although the deadline for all rewards has now passed you can still donate to the page via https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/doncaster-knights.

On behalf of all at DRFC we say a huge thank you – YOUR support has made a huge difference.

MATCH DAY REWIND | KNIGHTS VS BEDFORD.

This weeks match day rewind comes against Bedford Blues from April 2011. 

Knights | 15 Stevie McColl, 14 Dougie Flockhart, 13 Ollie Goss, 12 Andy Wright, 11 Matt Williams, 10 Tristan Roberts, Nathan Jones, 1 Dan Frazier, 2 Steve Laurie, 3 Lewis Thiede, 4 Glen Kenworthy, 5 Matt Challinor, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Neil Cochrane, 8 Ed Jackson

Replacements | 16 Colin Quigley, 17 Dom Parsons, 18 Craig Hampton, 19 Chris Briers, 20 Steve Boden, 21 James Craig, 22 Zac Farivarz 

Bedford Blues | 15 Ed Thrower, 14 Duncan Taylor, 13 Tom Bedford, 12 Myles Dorrian, 11 James Pritchard, 10 Jake Sharp, 9 Will Chudley, 1 Sam Walsh, 2 Dan Richmond, 3 Phil Boulton, 4 Michael Howard, 5 Paul Tupac, 6 Gregor Gillanders, 7 Ben Lewett, 8 Chris Goodman

Replacement | 16 Chris Locke, 17 Dan Seal, 18 Alex Rae, 19 Darryl Veenendaal, 20 Ian Vass, 21 Johannes Schmidt, 22 George Kruis

Referee | Rob Debney

Former England Student back-row Rouse joins on loan.  

Promising back-row Jack Rouse will spend the 2020/21 season with the Knights on a season-long loan deal from Ealing Trailfinders.

Jack arrives in South Yorkshire having spent last season with Canterbury in National One, the 24-year-old featured regularly across the back row and at lock for the Kent side, gaining valuable open age game time.

Standing at 6’2” and weighing 111KG Rouse adds a sizeable presence to Head Coach Steve Boden’s loose forward options and the new boss believes he is a player that has the potential to flourish at Castle Park next term. “Jack is only one year out of university rugby & has been in a good rugby programme at Ealing but needs more regular game time.

“He’s good athlete with a good work rate and ability to ball carry. Jack still has a lot of learning, which is to be expected only recently having come out of uni rugby, but he’s got the right drive & attitude to enable him to push his game forward.”

Prior to signing with the Trailfinders Jack studied Sport & Exercise Science at Exeter before going on to do a Master’s in International Business Management.

During his time at Exeter Jack represented the first team 53 times in BUCS competitions; winning two Super Rugby League titles before being selected to represent England Students in April last year.

For next season says he is Jack is focused on developing his game further by impressing in a Donny shirt. “I’m really looking forward to getting going at Doncaster Knights.

“The culture that Bodes is building and the ambition of the club is something that really excites me.

“The opportunity for me to join a team that have a reputation for having a dominant pack is really attractive to me also.

“Personally, I want to take my game to the next level and I feel that the Knights have the right set up to achieve that and enable me to get regular exposure and test myself against top teams.

“I can’t wait to join up with the squad and help the Knights move forward next season.”

Jack’s arrival on a season long loan takes the total of confirmed 2020/21 squad members to twenty-six.

 

2020/2021 current squad. 
ANDREW FOSTER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], KYLE EVANS [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], MATT SMITH [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], REISS CULLEN [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], SAM OLVER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR].

 

CHARLIE FOLEY [RETAINED 1 YEAR], HOWARD PACKMAN [RETAINED 1 YEAR], WILL HOLLING [RETAINED 1 YEAR], MATT CHALLINOR [RETAINED 1 YEAR], SAM POCKLINGTON [RETAINED 1 YEAR], ROBIN HISLOP [RETAINED 2 YEARS], BEN HUNTER [RETAINED 1 YEAR].

 

JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] MARK BEST [NEW SIGNING 1 + 1 YEAR] JAMES MITCHELL [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] CONOR JOYCE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] TOM HILL [SIGNING 2 YEARS] SAM GRAHAM [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BILLY MCBRYDE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] BEN BETTS [NEW SIGNING 2 YEARS] JAMES NEWEY [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK DAVIES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JOE JONES [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] GEORGE ROBERTS [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR], JACK SPITTLE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] JACK ROUSE [ONE SEASON LOAN].

Image courtesy of –SLRMedia/Devon.