Paul Turton.

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Paul Turton (Turts) due to Covid alongside other complications and send our sympathy and condolences to his children Andrew & Sue and partner Janet during this difficult time. 

Turts played as hooker for Pontefract RUFC and became a member of DRFC in the late 1980’s when he retired from playing.

He then became a stalwart of the club, firstly as 1st XV touch judge and latterly as team and logistics manager up to the present day.

Turts was a fine example of giving his time voluntarily over 30 years to DRFC for which we are all extremely grateful.

After winning games he always greeted me with “We are the boys Tony” and “There aren’t many of us about you know”

Turts was one of the the nicest men that I have ever known and will be sorely missed.

Goodbye old friend.

Tony De Mulder

 

Steve Boden league start date reaction.

Head Coach Steve Boden reacts to the news that the Greene King IPA Championship 2021 season will start on March 6th.

Having been in training since November without a fixed date to work to, Bodes admits yesterday’s news was warmly received.

Steve says having a set date allows the coaching team to programme pre-season with confidence and build training in accordance with a confirmed timeline.

Following the news, the Knights have been granted an extended Christmas break to ‘mentally refocus’ and spend longer with family; where Covid-19 restrictions allow. The intention being to hit the ground running in January and build into the 2021 season.

2021 Championship start date confirmed.

The Greene King IPA Championship will commence the 2020/21 season on the weekend of 6th March, 2021.

Operating under the elite sport framework, the Greene King IPA Championship league will be split into two conferences.  Teams will play home and away within their conference producing 10 competition rounds, subsequent to which there will be a two leg play off final between the winner of each league to determine the team that will earn promotion to the Gallagher Premiership for the 2021/22 season.

The conferences will be determined by standings when the 2019/2020 season ended in March 2020; with Saracens taking the place of Newcastle Falcons and Richmond replacing Yorkshire Carnegie.

Therefore, the two Conferences will be:

Conference A:
Saracens, Cornish Pirates, Ampthill, Jersey Reds, London Scottish, Hartpury

Conference B:  
Ealing Trailfinders, Coventry, Nottingham, Bedford Blues, Doncaster Knights, Richmond

Given the possibility of no crowds being allowed for some of the season, and wishing to take Championship rugby to a wider audience, it is hoped to stream as many of the matches as possible.

As a result of Championship clubs having little or no income for the last nine months the majority do not have the financial ability to meet the costs of Covid testing required under the elite sport framework. The clubs have, therefore, been in regular dialogue with the RFU to consider options and solutions to conclude the season.

The clubs have chosen not to return to play under adapted laws and the March start date allows time for clubs to gain clarity from Sport England regarding the Sport Winter Survival Package before starting pre-season training.

All Championship clubs are unanimously behind the intended competition as outlined, but require some weeks of full training, to make squads “match ready”, subsequent to the long absence of competitive rugby.

A small number of Championship clubs have returned to training operating under the elite sport framework and may arrange pre-season friendlies ahead of the restart in early March.

Issued by the RFU on behalf of the Greene King IPA Championship Clubs

Match day rewind | Christmas edition.

For the final time in 2020 – it’s match day rewind! 
Throwback to 2010 when the Knights took on Birmingham & Solihull at Castle Park.

Knights | 15 Stevie McColl, 14 Andy Wright 13 Chris Briers, 12 Hudson Tonga’uiha, 11 Dougie Flockhart, 10 James Brooks, 9 Nicky Griffiths, 1 Stuart Corsar, 2 Steve Lawrie, 3 Ngalu Tau, 4 Glen Townson, 5 Glen Kenworthy, 6 Adam Kettle, 7 Simon Grainger, 8 Chris Bundy
Replacements | 16 Michael Cusack, 17 Steve Boden, 18 Neil Cochrane, 19 Bryn Griffiths, 20 Ali Warnock, 21 Chris Hallam, 22 Lewis Thiede
Birmingham & Solihull | 15 Rod Petty, 14 Mitch Culpin, 13 Grant Anderson, 12 Ed Bingham, 11 John Holtby, 10 Rickie Aley, 9 Sam Brown, 1 Leopold Halavatua, 2 Dale Garner, 3 Mauro Sperandio, 4 Gerry Hill, 5 Stewart Ault, 6 Jack Preece, 7 Rob Bell, 8 Ross Noonan.
Replacements | 16 Dave Orme, 17 George Thomas, 18 Ken Downing,19 Will Betts, 20 Rob Connolly, 21 John Brake, 22 Ryan Tomlinson
Ref: Michael Tutty
Crowd 200

Steve Boden | Loads of positives, loads to work on – Newcastle reflection.  

On Tuesday the Knights travelled to Kingston Park for a training day with last season’s Greene King IPA Championship winners, Newcastle Falcons.

It was the first opportunity the squad have had to put their training into practice against a real life opposition.

With the Falcons currently unbeaten, and second only to European Champions Exeter Chiefs, in the Premiership table, the test could not have been sterner especially after just three weeks of full team training.

Reflecting on the day, Head Coach Steve Boden says he was pleased with the ambition his fledgling side showed at Kingston Park but admits it highlighted plenty to work on. “We had a really decent day with Newcastle, we get on well with their coaching team and appreciate the opportunity for a hit out – overall I am happy with what I saw.

“We ran through different game scenarios with their squad preparing to play Castres on Friday night. The main purpose was to play under pressure against an opposition that don’t know what you’re doing and I think we both got plenty from the day.

“We created a few opportunities and looked exciting, we probably got a little over excited at times but I prefer to see that over a team not showing anything exciting going forward.

“Our game management needs work and will be something that will come into sharp focus in the next few weeks of training and I will be looking to our more experienced players to drive that.

“One really positive was our set piece, the scrums looked solid against a very experience Falcons pack and we looked organized with our driving lineout.”

The Knights return to Castle Park for one more week of training before a bit of time off over Christmas and, considering the challenges of 2020, Bodes says he progress so far is pleasing. “I do feel that, all things considered, we are in a good place but we certainly have plenty of work to do before playing our first game, whenever that is.

“The plan is for Newcastle to come to Castle Park in January for another training day.  Fingers crossed we’ll keep our positive momentum and can assess then what progress has been made.”

Supporting communities this Christmas…

Today the team at Castle Park teamed up with community interest groups; People Focused Group (PFG), DICE Enterprise, Home Instead Doncaster, Monday Smile a While, Helping Hands Community Centre & St Paul’s Church to provide 500 Christmas Dinners for those most in need across Doncaster.

Using the groups peer support network and, with support from our partners, we were able to prepare, cook & deliver 500 Christmas Dinners to members of the community who may be battling poor physical or mental health, are elderly or alone and struggling families to spread some Christmas cheer in what has been an exceptionally tough year.

Supported by our project partners ESC Global & Well Doncater, the Castle Park catering team prepared & cooked all 500 meals before they were transported to the PFG Wellness Centre in Intake and distributed throughout local communities.

Discussing the project, Knights General Manager Neil Holmes said. “It’s fantastic to be able to work alongside such a wide network of community interest groups to deliver this project and make a difference to those in need.

“Last year we hosted the PFG Christmas party at Castle Park but to be able to grow the reach of our peer support despite the challenges of Coronavirus is amazing.

“I’d like to say a special thank you, not only to the PFG, but also our partners ESC Global & Well Doncaster as well as our volunteers Ian Laycock (ProAktive) & Will Palmer (Ethos FS) and Castle Park staff Janet Hayes, Jenny Clayton, Joanne Peart, Becky Hill, Robyn Reevy & Annie Oakley.”

Once the deliveries were completed, Knights players and staff joined members of the PFG & DICE on zoom for a virtual Christmas party featuring live music and entertainment.

The project is the one of many planned as part of the Club’s community foundation set to launch officially in 2021. Keep an eye on drfc.co.uk for more updates on our foundation and for information on how you could get involved.

Billy McBryde pre-season update.

At the end of another productive week of training new fly-half Billy McBryde believes that the squad are settling well and ready to tackle the next block of training. 

With a training day scheduled at Newcastle Falcons tomorrow the former Wales U20 says the feeling around the squad is positive after a successful week of training and that he hopes the momentum will continue to build into Christmas.

Billy also talks about his own hopes for the season as he ponders a debut season in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Orders live for the final takeaway of 2020.

Orders are now live for the final Castle Park takeaway service of 2020  – December 19th. 

For the final time in 2020 the Castle Park oven will fire up to deliver a Christmas edition of our Pie takeaway service.

Cow Pie makes way for Janet’s homemade chicken & leek pie; cooked with tender pieces of chicken & sautéed leeks, in a creamy sauce, encased in a suet pastry crust served with chips, garden peas and drizzled with chicken gravy (vegetarian option available)

All of this is available for just £8 with collections between 12pm-2pm on Saturday. We also have a selection of bottled beers & drinks deals available (see image below).

Booking for all options can be made by emailing mcasey@castle-park.co.uk or calling 01302 831388 before 4pm on Friday December 18th. All payments to be made (card only) on collection from Castle Park reception between 12:00-14:00 on Saturday or Sunday.

We will also be selling Doncaster Knights face masks for just £8 which can be ordered & paid for in the same way as the takeaway – we only have a limited number of these so move fast if you want one.

In line with government guidance all alcohol must be pre-ordered & is not available for purchase on the day. Customers must not collect alcohol from the premises, so after confirming your arrival and making payment please wait in your vehicle & staff will bring your order to you.

Please note that food prepared at Castle Park may contain the following ingredients: Lupin, eggs, fish, peanuts, sesame, milk, mustard, cereals, nuts, celery & celeriac, soy beans, molluscs, crustaceans, sulphites & sulphur dextrose.

Bodes | Contact and culture

With another week of pre-season ticked off Head Coach Steve Boden discusses the side moving into more contact heavy elements of training. 

With growing optimism that a start date is around the corner, the Knights coaching staff are looking to build full contact training into the schedule.

Strictly following the elite sport return to play framework, Bodes says the Knights will look to develop game style scenarios as they head into the New Year and the hope of games in mid to late January.

The Head Coach also discusses team culture and states he believes that the communication and feedback received from the group so far is inline with how he wants his squad to hold themselves on and off the pitch this term.

MF Hire become Knights principle partner.

In anticipation of the 2020/21 season Doncaster Knights are delighted to announce MF Hire as the Club’s principle kit sponsor.

MF Hire are an independent tool hire company and part of The MFH Group of Companies. Based in Sheffield, the group has branches Leeds and Leicester & boasts over 45 years’ industry experience.

MF Hire have been Club partners since summer 2019 but have increased their support as the Knights gear up to start the 2020/21 campaign.

In an altruistic show of Club spirit, MF Hire have waived the usual main logo position on the Knights home jersey to allow the names of every Crowdfunder donator to sit uninterrupted in the Club’s signature red & white stripes.

Commenting on the deal, Commercial Manager Michael Casey said. “We are delighted to have secured MF Hire as our principle sponsor.

“It has been a very challenging year commercially but MF Hire have shown amazing faith through uncertainty and partnering with a company so invested in the community and rugby in South Yorkshire is a real positive step forward.

“The decision to move the company logo reflects MF Hire’s culture and their backing of our Rugby for All motto at Doncaster RFC and I can’t wait to develop the partnership further in 2021.

Both kits are now on pre-sale via the Elite Pro Sport website with this year’s away shirt a throwback to the Knights Red National One winning strip of 2013/14.

Though we are awaiting confirmation on the season start date, the Knights preparations are underway and MF Hire Group Operations Director Rob Harmston says he is excited about what 2021 will bring. “As rugby fans we are delighted to partner Doncaster Knights and strengthen our connection with the Club.

“The passion of everyone involved with Doncaster Knights from the mini juniors through to senior management is infectious and we are delighted to support a Club that provides so much to so many.

“We cannot wait for the new season to begin, to watch the Knights fly the flag for Yorkshire in the Championship and build on what we hope will be a lasting partnership.”

Find out more about MF Hire’s products and services at www.mfhire.co.uk

Click here to order your 2020/21 Doncaster Knights jersey today

 

 

ANDY PYBUS

The Club have been informed of the sad news that Andy Pybus passed away in mid June whilst working out in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Andy played for the club in the early 80s before moving to Plymouth to train as a deep sea diver. He continued his rugby playing for Paignton rugby club.
Our condolences go to his wife Fiona and his four daughter’s. In his memory they have opened a pub so if you are down Torquay way call into the Divers Arms and raise a glass to Andy.