RFU Council Vote Update

RFU Council Vote in Favour of Covid Recovery Plan and Temporary Pause on Relegation

The RFU Council has today voted in favour of a range of structural changes to improve the financial stability and sustainability of professional rugby during the next three seasons while also providing benefits for England Rugby and the community game.

The Covid Recovery Plan, with a temporary pause on relegation, follows a detailed consultation that was announced in February after the RFU Council voted in favour of no relegation from Gallagher Premiership Rugby or the Greene King IPA Championship for the 2020/21 Season. The extensive consultation included Premiership Rugby and their clubs, Championship clubs, The RPA, RFU Board and RFU Council.

Read the full statement issued by the Rugby Football Union here.

Job Vacancy: Junior Lead Coach

Doncaster RFC Mini Junior Section are looking for a Junior Lead Coach to drive the quality of coaching throughout our junior pathway. 

Job Title: Junior Lead Coach

Required for: 8-10 hrs per week

Reports to: Mini Junior Section

Salary: Dependent on experience

Closing Date: 14th July

Interview Date: Week commencing 19thJuly

The Role:

We are excited to announce that an opportunity has opened to work within Mini Junior pathway at Doncaster RFC, as a Lead Coach.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the delivery of rugby coaching across the Doncaster Knights Colts and Age Grade programmes.

Job Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Responsible for the development of the Colts team, focusing on technical skill set, fitness, match play, game knowledge and game management.
  • Planned seasonal organisation of training, practice, competition and rest and recovery.
  • Lead all coaching and training for midweek sessions and Weekend

fixtures/training home or away.

  • Work closely with the team manager/coaches to ensure full understanding of seasonal cycles/training requirements for the individuals and the team. Create and design a development plan for all team members.
  • Ensure all team members are coached to compete well in the U18 league.
  • Responsible for developing a culture of strong competition within the team and enjoyment. Attract & Recruit new players to join the team
  • Ensure that there is a transition plan in place to filter any players of age into the seniors to gain experience, where appropriate.
  • Liaise with DK D.O.R /Coaches/S&C to understand and deliver on Doncaster RFC coaching styles and values.

Age Grade

To assist the Chair & Manager to plan and deliver on all aspects of Age Grade rugby delivery

  • To work with Age Grade Coaches to plan, prepare and deliver coaching sessions for the season.
  • To provide effective support to Age Grade Coaches with a focus on driving up coaching standards across all Mini & Junior programs.
  • To support delivery of correct skill introduction of Tackling, Scrum & Lineout

at Key stages.

  • To encourage Doncaster RFC coaching styles and values across all Age Grade Coaches.
  • To deliver practical training /CPD sessions for Age Grade Coaches.
  • To encourage and promote participation by Age Grade Coaches of RFU training courses.
  • To support all Mini Junior Age Grade activities and promotion.
  • Liaise with DK D.O.R /Coaches to understand and deliver on Doncaster RFC coaching styles and values.
  • Attract & Recruit new players to join the Age Grade Team
  • To carry out other Age Grade related duties as requested by the Doncaster Knight Mini Juniors.

Experiences/Qualifications required

  • RFU Level 3 or aspiring Level 3 Coach
  • Previous management/coaching and or playing experience in Premiership/

Championship/National leagues.

Excellent knowledge of the game and the importance of all technical and tactical components of Rugby.

  • Ability and presence to lead coaching sessions.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to inspire teams to progress
  • Experience and/or knowledge of, the practical application of safeguarding processes
  • The ability to obtain an Enhanced RFU DBS Certificate.
  • Eligible to work in the UK.
  • A full and valid UK driving licence, with access to own vehicle

How to Apply

If you feel you have the qualities and experience, we are looking for, please submit a covering letter and CV by email to minijuniors@castle-park.co.uk. All applications should be submitted no later than the 14thOf July at 17.00hrs.

Interviews will take place during the week commencing 19thof July

Knights launch Sporting Memories initiative.

Sports fans from Doncaster will get to relive some of their favourite moments as part of a groundbreaking series of events to help tackle dementia, depression and loneliness.

Home Instead Doncaster, Sporting Memories and Doncaster Knights have come together to launch the Sporting Memories Club where local sports fans will get together for weekly sessions to reminisce about events on the pitch.

Claire Hoyles, business development manager for Home Instead Doncaster, said: “It’s great that we’re launching this on the back of a very positive season on the pitch for the Knights, it’ll give people a bit more to talk about!

“If there’s one thing we know about sports fans it’s that they love looking back on big moments and matches, but there’s also a serious point as it’s a great way to help older people keep engaged in their community and provide access to support.

“We’ll talk about all sports, whether it’s the Knights’ recent success or some of the best moments from the recently retired James Coppinger over at Rovers.

“The structured sessions will help provide resilience for those living with dementia, while we know mental and physical wellbeing of participants have benefited from similar events.”

The sessions are aimed at over 50s and led by experienced staff or volunteers, they may also include gentle physical activities.

Michael Casey, commercial manager for the Knights, said: “Doncaster Knights are delighted to be working Home Instead Doncaster and Sporting Memories to help provide this valuable service in tackling dementia, depression and loneliness through the power of sport.”

Kayleigh Catford, Sporting Memories’ area co-ordinator for Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Home Instead and Doncaster Knights to bring Sporting Memories to the region.

“Through their Sporting Memories Club, Home Instead will be helping us to reach even more older adults who may be living with dementia, depression or loneliness – providing companionship and increasing well-being. Our thanks to Doncaster Knights who are providing a fantastic venue for the Sporting Memories Club, and of course, a great sporting background. We look forward very much to hearing all about the meetings.”

The free sessions will take place at Castle Park, in Armthorpe, from 10.30am-12noon every Tuesday starting August 2.

The sessions are free to take part but booking must be made as spaces are limited. To book call Home Instead Doncaster on 01302 369655 or at claire.hoyles@homeinstead.co.uk.

Kyle Evans & Sam Olver in Champ Clubs Podcast Team of the Year

Episode Thirteen of the Championship Clubs Podcast is available now!  

The Podcast, which aims to provide a positive voice for the league, is available to listen to via Apple Podcast and Spotify and can also be watched on Youtube – just search Championship Clubs Podcast.

With Ben Gulliver away sunning himself on the English Riviera, host Michael Casey is joined in the co-host seat by Bedford Blues Chief Operating Officer and co-Podcast founder Gareth Alred.

Gareth gives a synopsis of the past season’s streaming coverage, but despite Casey’s best efforts won’t be drawn on any Championship secrets!

Then, ahead of this weekend’s Championship Final play off second leg between Saracens and Ealing at The StoneX, the pair are joined by two guys who have seen every club in the league firsthand and whilst commentating on the live streams for Saracens, Ealing and Hartpury this season – Jack Zorab and Dave Rogers, as together they pick the ‘Championship Clubs Podcast Team of the Season’.

Who makes the cut? Every club gets a mention, but which ones make it and who misses out? Listen in to find out!

Episode Thirteen is available now on Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Youtube via https://linktr.ee/Champclubspod

Championship Clubs Podcast is also on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Just search @ChampClubsPod to listen, watch or join in the conversation.

Communications Manager | Vacancy.

Doncaster Knights are currently recruiting for a Communications Manager.

Department: Communications

Reports to: Head of Commercial

Purpose of the Role: The Communications Manager will lead on creating engaging content for the Club’s portfolio including; Doncaster Knights, Academy, Phoenix, Foundation, Mini/Junior section & Castle Park venue. This incorporates idea generation and execution in several formats including, but not limited to, written, audio and video content.

Key Tasks:

  • Responsible for the communications delivery for all rugby sections at Doncaster Rugby Club, Doncaster in Union Foundation & Castle Park venue.
  • To consistently produce a high standard of work for the Club’s communications channels
  • Develop and implement a strategy to increase Doncaster Knights portfolio profiles, ticket sales, events and database.
  • Responsible for creating engaging, interactive and well written content around Doncaster Knights portfolio, objectives to grow and engage all key audiences.
  • Create and implement a cross-platform social media strategy, including LinkedIn, to improve the Club’s output and to explore new and innovative ways in which to engage supporters.
  • Ensure the Club’s website is up-to-date and reflects ongoing initiatives, topical issues and is inclusive of all Club sections.
  • Manage the operational set-up on the Professional Squad match days, press, photographers, streaming, social media & the big screen.
  • Prioritise workloads and manage time efficiently, meeting all required deadlines and expectations.
  • Be the Editor of the Club’s match day programme, which includes planning, driving sales, creating and editing copy, and proofreading.



  • Excellent written & verbal communications
  • Creative thinker with a proven ability to produce engaging content.
  • A good understanding and a keen interest in rugby
  • Excellent working knowledge of all communication platforms.
  • Educated to degree level in a relevant industry or relevant professional experience.
  • Confident using website platforms

Apply: Please email a CV and covering letter of one page to mcasey@castle-park.co.uk

Salary: Competitive.

Closing date: August 13th, 12 noon.


Spittle & Best latest to commit to Knights cause.

With the start of pre-season now looming in the distance, Doncaster Knights announce more good news as another two of the 2020 cohort have recommitted as Jack Spittle & Mark Best agree new deals.

Wing Jack Spittle suffered a frustrating start to life as a Knight but quickly got tongues wagging with his performances once fit and on the field.

A brace against Hartpury University in round three was backed up by a crucial score against Jersey Reds a fortnight later. The 26-year-old was on the score sheet again against Saracens, finishing a superb effort against the former European champions at Castle Park.

Having secured Jack’s services for another season Head Coach Steve Boden believes the speedster brings much more to the squad than just an eye for the line. “We are really happy that Jack has decided to stay on board for next year.

“Jack was a proven try scorer when he arrived but we feel the nuts & bolts around his game came on massively last season and really helped the team in addition to his try scoring and we’re looking forward to seeing him kick on again next year.”

Spittle added that he believes it is an exciting time to be a Doncaster Knight and is looking forward to seeing what the new campaign brings. “I’m really excited about re-signing for the up and coming season.

“Last season we showed what we’re capable of and, judging by the amount of new talent we have coming into the squad, I believe we can be better next season.”

Centre Mark Best will be on the Knight roster again next season having agreed a one-year extension.

Besty made a flying start to his time in Doncaster after signing from Jersey reds last summer. The 27-year-old featured heavily in the Trailfinders Challenge Cup and in each of the Knights’ opening five league wins.

Sadly, a suspension received following the game with Cornish Pirates cut Mark’s season short but Bodes is delighted that he will be on the field in a Donny shirt again in 2021/22. “Mark’s a great character to have in the squad and fits our environment very well. He has fantastic ball playing skills and brings an edge and physicality to our back line; I’m really glad to have Mark back on board for another year.”

Besty added. “I’m really grateful that the board & the coaches have given me the opportunity to extend my stay at the Club. I’m looking forward to the season ahead, contributing on & off the field, I hope we can build on where we left off last season.”

Denman and Foster on board for new campaign.

The Knights front row options received a boost today as it is confirmed that tight head props Gareth Denman & Andrew Foster have agreed new deals at the Club.

30-year-old Denman arrived at Castle Park from Coventry Rugby in late summer 2020 and featured in eight of the Knights ten league fixtures – starting six. In a fiercely competitive front-row, Gaz wore the three jersey for the majority with the Knights set piece impressing all season long.

Prior to moving to Butts Park, Denman enjoyed a four-year stint at Franklins Gardens and was part of the Saints’ Premiership and European Challenge Cup winning side of 2013/14 and then signed for Gloucester in 2017; featuring 22 times for the Cherry-and-whites.

Commenting on the deal Head Coach Steve Boden said.  “I am really glad Gaz has committed his future to Doncaster Knights, It’s great to have an experienced Yorkshireman in the squad!

“Gaz has a wealth of top flight experience and his set piece is extremely strong which is crucial in the Championship. We have been very impressed with Gaz’s attitude and commitment to get better at this stage in his career.”

Born in Rotherham, Denman says he is enjoying life back in South Yorkshire and believes that both he & the team can have a successful season in 21/22. “I am really happy to have re-signed at Doncaster for the coming season and looking forward to building on our successful campaign last season.

“I have really enjoyed my time at Doncaster so far and look forward to ripping back into pre-season.

“Personally, I am looking forward to working with a young, hungry squad and hopefully sharing some of my experience with them and creating a really competitive environment.”

28-year old Andy Foster will enter his third year with the Club as he agrees one-year extension on his current contract. Fozzy signed from Yorkshire Carnegie in summer 2019 and has made twenty appearances for the Club including a start again Saracens at Castle Park.

Andy developed through his hometown Club Blaydon before being pulled into the Newcastle Falcons academy, going on to make six first team appearances. He also spent a season in the Championship with Rotherham Titans before moving to Headingley.

Having had an interrupted 2021 campaign, Bodes believe there is more to come from Foster next season. “I’m really happy that Fozzy has signed for another season, he had an unfortunate year through injury and illness but will be back firing and pushing for more minutes next year.

“He has a very high work rate and strong set piece as we saw versus Saracens, he’s also a fantastic, team first, type of a bloke to have in the environment.”

Andrew added. “I am really please to be staying on for another year, I am looking forward pushing on from where we left off last season and competing at the right end of the table.”

News on Doncaster Knights season tickets will be coming very soon, please check www.drfc.co.ukfor updates.

Back row boosted as Kelly & Davies commit.

The Doncaster Knights back-row is looking fearsome ahead of the 2021-22 campaign as the Club announce that John Kelly & Jack Davies have agreed new contracts at Castle Park.

With Guido Volpi and Sam Graham already committed, the addition of Kelly & Davies leaves the Knights back-row looking in very good shape.

25-year-old John Kelly signed from Plymouth Albion last summer and took to Champ life like a duck to water. Kelly caught the eye with his brute strength & size and became a regular starter in an extremely competitive Knights back-row.

John touched down for an impressive score in the Knights first home game of the season against Coventry and produced a Man of the Match performance versus Cornish Pirates, scoring the game’s first try before forcing a last minute penalty to close out the victory.

Injury meant that John missed the second half of the campaign but, now back fit, is a massive boost says Head Coach Steve Boden. “John Kelly has been a revelation since arriving from Plymouth Albion; he had some truly outstanding performances last year.

“His natural size and physicality make him a very robust back rower who also has the ability to play second row also. He settled into Championship rugby very quickly having come from the lower leagues and we are really excited to see where John’s rugby can take him.”

Having settled into life in Yorkshire, John added that he’s excited to kick on from his fine start this season. “I am really happy to be staying in Doncaster and working with the coaching staff to become a better player. Having made such a great start this past season I know we can do some real damage next season.”

24-year-old Jack Davies featured seven times for the Knights this campaign and seemingly got better with every minute under his belt.

The Bath Uni graduate made a number of positive contributions from the bench, with his combative ball-carrying a particular feature.

Jack’s eye for the line saw him touch down for scores against Saracens and Richmond and he was duly rewarded with a start in the 29-24 win over Nottingham on the final day of the season.

Commenting on Jack’s contract extension Bodes said. “I’m really happy that Jack has committed to us for another year, we feel as though Jack’s game improved week on week and that he has adapted well to the physicality and the demands of Championship rugby.

“We believe there is a lot of growth in his game, he is young and hungry enough to keep kicking off and the amount of game time he got towards the end of the season is testament to the way he conducted himself and continued to strive to get better.”

Davies added. “I’m really happy to re-sign for next season and continue building towards something special with the players we’ve got here. Last season I think we shocked a lot of people outside the group with where we finished but internally we knew what we were capable of.

“Personally I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to kick on in a full league season and continue to improve.”

News on 2021/22 Season tickets will be coming very soon!


The club were informed today of the sad news that John Young passed away on Tuesday 8th  June. 
John played for the club in the late 60’s and through the 70’s. He captained the 4th XV and was also a committee member holding the position of Entertainment officer he particularly enjoyed the social side of the rugby club.
John has been a life long supporter of the club and his comments on the crowd funding page featured in the Doncaster Free Press when he said that rugby had brought him lifelong friendships. Our thoughts are with his wife Angie and son Oliver and daughter in law Sarah.
John’s funeral will take place at Rose Hill Crematorium on Monday June 21st at 12.20.

Knights help to kick off new virtual networking platform

Doncaster Knights have partnered with Network 24/7, a new virtual networking platform, which is helping to forge stronger connections across Doncaster’s business community and strengthen connections between local entrepreneurs.

The innovative new platform, will provide opportunities for business owners across Doncaster to make new business connections at any time of the day,  24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing busy business owners to balance their work commitments around their day-to-day working lives.

Network 24/7 is the brainchild of accountant-turned-tech entrepreneur Ednan Karim who was inspired to develop a more flexible way of helping business owners to build stronger business connections after noticing the growing popularity of virtual networking events since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently in its trial phase, Ednan is inviting local business owners with the chance to help shape the future of the platform by sharing their experiences, and in return he is promising the first 24/7 businesses a lifetime membership of the site for just £10.

Ednan hit on the idea of developing a 24-hour networking platform after becoming frustrated with short-format business networking events, which typically rely on short introductions but offer little time to delve deeper into how business owners can collaborate. Recognising the potential offered by virtual networking, he spent time speaking to fellow businesses and began mapping out his own plans for a virtual platform.

After spending time researching his idea, Ednan realised some business owners found themselves unable to attend traditional networking events, often as a result of work pressures, so he hit on the idea of pioneering a flexible service that would allow business owners to meet like-minded individuals at times to suit their working day.

Since first inviting businesses to trial the platform, Network 24/7 has received the backing of Doncaster Chamber, and Ednan believes the strategic partnership with Doncaster Knights will help like-minded business owners from across the borough to connect, as well as further afield.

Network 24/7 is currently available exclusively to businesses based in South Yorkshire; however, following the completion of the initial trial phase, Ednan is hoping to roll out his idea to other towns and cities across the UK, with 10% of the proceeds from the platform being used to support local good causes.

Ednan Karim, Founder Network 24/7 said:

“When local companies collaborate, the whole region benefits because a greater proportion of money is retained within the local economy. Doncaster has a vibrant and incredibly diverse business community, and the idea behind Network 24/7 was to create an environment where business owners can come together, make new connections and create opportunities to work together in the future.



“However, one of the greatest challenges facing many business owners is that they simply don’t have the time  to  attend physical networking events. Network 24/7 solves this problem by creating opportunities to meet others at any time of the day, allowing business owners to spend as much or as little time on the platform as they wish.

“We’re delighted to form a partnership with Doncaster Knights, which has run its own popular face-to-face networking events for a number of years.  Coupled with the work we are undertaking with Doncaster Chamber, we are hopeful that businesses in the borough will be well positioned to benefit from the new networking platform.

“As part of the trial phase of the new platform, we’re inviting local business owners to help us test and develop the service, and in return, we’re planning to provide a free lifetime membership to the site for the first 247 businesses that sign up. We’ve already seen a terrific response from those companies who have signed up for the service, and I’m confident that our partnership with Doncaster Knights and Doncaster Chamber will help to create new opportunities to help local businesses to play their part.”

Michael Casey, Commercial Manager, Doncaster Knights said:

“Our partnership with Network 24/7 is a win-win for the local business community. The platform is an innovative concept and one which will help to create new opportunities outside of formal networking meetings. We understand that to build a strong local economy we must have a strong local business community.

“One of the difficulties posed by face-to-face networking events can be the amount of time attending a physical event can take out of the working day.  We are proud to support the development of Network 24/7.  Working in partnership with the platform and Doncaster Chamber, we believe it will offer a unique opportunity for local businesses to work together.”

Businesses in Doncaster can try the platform for themselves by visiting: https://www.network247.co.uk/

Ednan is no stranger to developing innovative tech businesses. In 2020, he successfully acquired online job posting platform Postify, which helps business owners to post vacancies to multiple job board websites, helping employers to make significant time and cost savings. Since acquiring Postify, the platform has enjoyed a significant period of growth and has secured contracts with a number of well-known brands.



Premier Sports will have live and exclusive coverage of the Greene King IPA Championship first leg Final tie between Ealing Trailfinders and Saracens on June 13th.

Making their Premier Sports presenting debuts will be former prop David Flatman (182 appearances for Saracens and Bath and 8 England caps) joined by former winger Topsy Ojo who made 188 appearances for London Irish alongside the hugely experienced reporter Laura Jane Jones who will be pitchside.

Live coverage begins at 4pm on Sunday June 13th on Premier Sports 1 – Sky channel 412, Virgin channel 551 and online via the Premier Player.

How to watch on TV in the UK

– Sky customers signing up at www.premiersports.com can watch Dundee United this Saturday on Premier Sports 1 on channel 412. New customers can subscribe from just £12.99 per month (1 month minimum term) with no connection fee. Premier Sports customers on Sky will also receive free access to the Premier Player by registering here – https://www.premierplayer.tv/subscribe/existing-customer

– Online (Web, iOS App, Android App): www.premierplayer.tv Premier Player from just £12.99 per month (1 month minimum term) with no connection fee. If using App please set up account first on web browser before downloading the App.

– Virgin customers: Premier Sports channel 551. You can subscribe for £12.99 per month via the provider with no connection fee or minimum contract. Call 0845 840 7777 or set up viewing via box. (Press Home > Apps and Games > All Apps > TV Upgrades.)

Premier Sports offer paid subscription services. Payments for subscriptions to Premier Sports via Sky or the Premier Player streaming service will automatically recur monthly or annually dependent on your chosen package unless notice is given to cancel. The auto-recurring price will be at the standard rate. Cancelations must be made by phone or email and must include a minimum 5 days’ notice prior to next bill. No cancelations accepted within 48 hours of subscribing. Minimum Subscriptions period is dependant (and matches) your chosen package. Terms and Conditions apply. For full terms and conditions visit www.premiersports.com

Full Terms and Conditions available at www.premiersports.com