Edgson returns to Castle Park.

The Knights 2020/21 squad is looking almost complete as hooker George Edgson returns from Jersey Reds.

Having first joined the Club from Ealing Trailfinders in summer 2019 Edgy made 19 appearances in his previous stint for the Knights. George featured not only at hooker but at flanker also, when required, and scooped a man of the match award from the back-row at home versus Ealing Trailfinders.

Despite being just 25-years-old, Edgson boasts considerable Championship experience having spent time in the league with Rotherham Titans and Bedford Blues before moving to Ealing.

Head Coach Steve Boden believes that in the current Castle Park environment George has the potential to be a leader and to impress in a Donny jersey. “We obviously know Edgy very well, we know his strengths and positive attributes, especially what he can do around the field and we will continue to work on his set piece game.

“There has been a lot of change at the Club since George was last here and we feel that his enthusiasm and leadership can be good for our environment and that George can thrive this time around.”

George is another member of the Knights squad to have developed through the rugby set up at Hartpury College; winning the AASE Championship twice and playing alongside the likes of Ellis Genge and Jonny Hill.

While studying at Hartpury Edgy was part of the Wasps Academy and gained representative honours with England at U18 level.

Upon returning to Castle Park, George says he is glad to be back and determined to make an impression. “I’m very grateful to Bodes for allowing me the opportunity to come back to Doncaster.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my first stint here and I believe being back in this environment will allow me to kick on and continue to develop as a player.”

Don’t forget 2021/22 Season Ticket are now on sale with adult prices starting at just £155, email mcasey@castle-park.co.ukfor more information.

Doncaster Knights 2021/22 senior squad list.

Mark Best, Jack Davies, Gareth Denman, Connor Edwards, Kyle Evans, Andrew Foster, Sam Graham, Will Holling, John Kelly, Billy McBryde, Sam Olver, George Roberts, Jack Spittle, Guido Volpi, Henry Paul, Joe Margetts, Fraser Strachan, George Oram, Harry Davey, Joe Wrafter, Joe Green, Sam Hudson, Maliq Holden, Josh Peters, Alex Dolly, Ronan McCusker, George Edgson, Danny Drake.

Lock pair added to Knights ranks.

Doncaster Knights are pleased to announce the signing of second rows Ronan McCusker & Danny Drake for the 2021/22 campaign.

Yesterday was one calendar month to the day until the Knights first home game of the new Championship season. As the run in to the league season intensifies the Club can confirm the signing of two new second row forwards.

Firstly, 26-year-old, Danny Drake arrives having most recently played for Scarlets in the Pro 14.

Danny made six appearances in a Scarlets jersey after joining from New Zealand provincial side North Harbour in 2019. He also had a short-term spell on loan with Gloucester at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Drake is English qualified having been born in London but grew up in New Zealand and was a member of the development set-up and wider squad at Super Rugby side the Blues.

As well as being a regular feature for North Harbour in the Mitre 10 Cup competition he also skippered North Harbour Club Championship winners, Northcote RFC before his move to Wales.

On Danny’s signing, Head Coach Steve Boden said. “We’re really pleased to be working with Danny, he knows a couple of guys here already and is a good character to bring into the environment.

“He’s had some good experience with the Scarlets and arrives hungry to get more game time and to progress as a player. He is relatively young and has good leadership qualities around the set piece.

Danny added. “I’m really excited to join Doncaster. There’s a lot of talented players in the squad with big aspirations, work ethic and drive to not only win games but better themselves and the club.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to pull on the colours and represent a club with great foundations and to work hard with the team to put our best performance out there each week.”

Also looking also to make a name for himself at Castle Park this season is Irishman Ronan McCusker.

The 25-year-old arrives from USA MLR side New England Free Jacks, having first signed with the franchise in October 2018.

The 6’6, 255lb lock forward was born in Belfast but is a US citizen through his American mother and represented Ulster from Under 17 level through to Under-20s while completing his studies at the University of Ulster.

Ronan’s performances for New England saw him added to the USA Eagles wider interest group and he is hoping to continue his development playing in the Championship for the Knights. “I am really happy and excited to have signed for Doncaster this year. I definitely felt from the day I got here that this is a special club to be a part of.

“The guys on the squad are great and the coaching staff have been driving high standards on the field during preseason which all the guys have bought into and I know it will pay dividends. I feel privileged to be a part of this setup because the whole squad wants to put the team first and make the most out of this season.”

Bodes added. “Ronan is a bit of an unknown to many, he came to the professional game quite late but has gained some exposure recently playing in the American top flight.

“He’s a big man and naturally very athletic, we feel that with his raw physical attributes he has the potential to kick on and we believe he can progress the technical aspects of his game and do well in a Donny jersey.”

Don’t forget 2021/22 Season Ticket are now on sale with adult prices starting at just £155, email mcasey@castle-park.co.ukfor more information.

Billy ready to build on solid first season.

With the Knights squad truly at the business end of pre-season Billy McBryde brings us an update on progress up to this point.

After two months of training it’s almost time to put all the hard work into practice! The Knights head to Henley-in-Arden and Wasps Elite Performance and Innovation Centre on Friday for a live training day against the Premiership outfit as they build into next Saturday’s pre-season clash with Newcastle Falcons.

Talking ahead of the trip Billy states the side are in tip top condition. “Pre-season has gone really well; we are really fit.

“A few of the boys were talking earlier and saying that they didn’t think they’d ever been in a squad this fit before – all the fitness scores are fantastic, all our GPS and volume is through the roof really.

“Now it is tapering into rugby specific stuff, getting the ball in hands and being a bit smarter with our decision making and adding more structure to our sessions and treating them as we would a proper game.”

Having arrived at Castle Park in November 2020, the 25-year-old played a key role in the Knights third place finish last season.

With several mainstays of the squad moving last season and with a young and hungry squad, Billy says there is expectation on the lads still here from last season continue to drive standards but that he is relishing the challenge.  “We lost the likes of Chall, Hunts, Bomber, Charlie and Smithy who were an integral part of our campaign last year and there’s a lot of fresh meat and young lads but everyone has stepped up.

“The academy lads have stepped up and it’s been nice to have those boys in and pushing us throughout pre-season and brought some real enthusiasm to the squad.

“The boys that are here from last year and are obviously more familiar with the way in which we play so we have a responsibility to keep getting better and driving standards; there will be a lot of competition in the squad again this year.”

Due to ongoing restrictions the Knights squad are facing a reduced schedule of pre-season fixtures but Billy and the team expect the challenges of the next two weeks to leave them well placed to hit the ground running when the league begins on September 18th. “I think the plan on Friday is that in the morning we will split into units, the forwards will go through live set piece work and the backs will be running starter plays against a live defence.

“It’s going to be good for us to go against a defence that don’t know our plays and are obviously very high quality. It will also mean we have to adapt and react in defence and test our decision making on the spot.

“In the afternoon, I think the plan is to do forty minutes of pretty much a full live game scenario.

“It’s likely to be body in front and down for the first half and then live contact for the second half which should hopefully sharpen us up for Newcastle the week after which is a full 80-minute game.

“The next two weeks will be a big test for us to see how far we’ve come and what bits we need to work on ready for September 18thversus Cov. Newcastle & Wasps are two very good & experienced Premiership sides and as a player you like to test yourself against these boys and make your mark.

“Cov away first up is going to be huge, it was very close last year and we got a bit lucky to get the win so they’ll be raring to get one over on us this season but we cant wait. We’re chomping at the bit to get out there on the paddock and hopefully be competing towards the top of the table again.

“It is about starting well for us, the first block of games are crucial but there’s not doubt that when the Cov game roles round we will be ready and up for it.”

Don’t forget 2021/22 Season Ticket are now on sale with adult prices starting at just £155, email mcasey@castle-park.co.ukfor more information.

Tickets on sale for Falcons pre-season.

Tickets for the Knights pre-season friendly away against Newcastle Falcons’ on Saturday September 4th are now on sale.

The Kingston Park Stadium clash is a 3pm kick-off, and is the Knights only pre-season contest before kicking off the new Championship season against Coventry on September 18th.

Tickets are available to purchase via >>> clicking this link.

Alternatively, tickets are available via the Kingston Park Stadium ticket hotline on 0871 226 6060 open on Thursdays from 1500-2000 and Saturdays from 1100-1600, or you can email tickets2@newcastle-falcons.co.uk on any day of the week.

Only West Stand seating and North Stand terracing will be open on the day, with all places unallocated. Advanced tickets are priced as follows, rising by £3 if booked on match day.

Adults: £13 in advance (£16 on the day).

Concessions: £10 in advance (£13 on the day).

Young adults (16-24): £8 in advance (£11 on the day).

Juniors: £3 in advance (£6 on the day).

Car parking for the Doncaster game for non-parking pass holders will be priced at £5, and can be booked by clicking here.

https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/EDP/Event/Index/1649

For details of match-day hospitality please email corporatesales@newcastle-falcons.co.uk

Yorkshire duo signed for new campaign.

With five weeks to go until the 2021/22 season begins Doncaster Knights today announce the signing of two new recruits in Yorkshiremen Sam Hudson and Joe Green.

Hailing from Easingwold, Hudson arrives from Ampthill after a standout campaign with the A’s in their second season in the Championship. The flanker turned heads in a typically stoic Ampthill back-row and Captained the side to achieve a respectable 7thplace league finish.

The 23-year-old played a crucial role in Ampthill’s promotion winning 2018/19 season from National One, featuring predominantly at No. 6, his tough tackling and nifty handling saw him named in the The Rugby Paper Team of the Season.

Prior to joining The Mob, Sam was part of the Loughborough Uni BUCS Super Rugby Squad and also gained representative honours with England Counties U20s in 2017.

Commenting on the signing Head Coach Steve Boden said. “Sam is a great addition to our squad.

“He is a very good athlete, highly competitive at the breakdown with an extremely high work rate. He ticks all the boxes and adds more competition to our already very competitive back-row and we feel he has all the tools to further his career with us and really progress.

Sam added. “‘I’m grateful to Doncaster Knights for offering me my first professional contract, It’s a great club with high quality facilities, talented coaching staff and a community link that’s something to be proud of in the current era.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in front of a crowd again, especially now I’m part of such a young and exciting squad. As a group we’ve got high expectations for the season ahead and can’t wait for the Championship to begin”

Bodes also adds Bradford Born scrum half Joe Green to the squad.

Joe arrives from Yorkshire Carnegie where he has been part of the squad since 2018, having featured for the Leeds outfit 11 times in the Championship and Championship Cup. The 21-year-old was called into the England U20s training squad for the 2020 six nations and also featured for Sale Sharks in the 2018 Premiership Sevens.

Cousin to Bath scrum half Max Green, Joe captained Woodhouse Grove School before going on to study a Business Management degree at Leeds Beckett; graduating this year.

Bodes “We’re please to bring Joe into the group for the new season, Fordy has worked with him at Carnegie and I worked with him in a capacity when he was coming through the academy.

“He’s a got a very high skillset as a nine, with a rounded pass and kick game. He has a lot of developing today but he has a good attitude and we’re hopeful he will do well in our environment.”

Joe added. “I’m really excited and grateful to be joining Doncaster! It’s a club where I can continue to develop my game and challenge myself in a competitive environment full of young talented players and coaches that all have huge ambitions, looking forward to the getting the season started and seeing what we can achieve as a group!

Knights confirm departing players list.

With the new Championship season beginning next month Doncaster Knights can confirm those players that will not be returning for the 2021/22 campaign.

In total fourteen players will move on to pastures new, including some who have contributed massively to the Club successes in recent times.

One name that immediately stands out on the list is former Club Captain Matt Challinor.

Chall signed for the Knights in 2010 and went onto make 261 competitive appearances for the Club, more than any other player in the professional age, during some of the Club’s most successful periods in history. The talismanic lock featured in promotions, cup finals and play-off finals, remaining ever-present in the Knights #4 jersey right up until the close of the 2020/21 season.

Chall has now taken a step back from the professional game to focus on his post-rugby career but will continue to play competitively down the road at Clifton Lane.

Another Club legend that has decided to hang up his boots this time is hooker Ben Hunter.

Hunts signed from the semi-pro ranks with Cambridge ahead of the Knights promotion winning 2013/14 campaign and went on to be one of the Championship’s consistent top performers notching 161 Knights appearances.

Elsewhere Charlie Foley and Bomber Hislop move on, with Bomber Premiership bound having signed for Wasps and Charlie joining brother Ben at Hartpury. Both men played over 50 games for the Club and have been influential in recent times.

Matt Smith will link up with Chall again next season with the lock joining the Titans after two seasons at Castle Park along with scrum half Sam Pocklington. The former Academy man finished his time with the Knights on a high as he secured a final day victory for the Knights over Nottingham with his late try in front of home fans. Howard Packman also departs after two seasons at the Club.

Nine of last year’s new arrivals with also move on with Will Britton earning a Premiership deal at Gloucester, Joe Jones moving to Coventry and James Mitchell heading the Island with Jersey Reds.

Backs James Newey, James Kane and Harry Strong will also move on as will Jerry Sexton and Conor Joyce

Finally, Dougie Flockhart’s time at Castle Park has come to an end. The Knights all time leading point scorer, retired from playing last season but has now left his post as Head of Strength and Conditioning. Dougie and his wife Kay have moved to Switzerland to pursue new opportunities but promise to come back and visit.

Speaking on the departures, Head Coach Steve Boden said. “On behalf of the Club we would like to thank all those players that are leaving for their efforts and commitments in a Donny jersey.

“We say thank you especially to Dougie, Hunts & Chall who have been fantastic servants of the Club for many years, they’ve instilled foundations that we will hopefully build on in the future; all good, hard working men.

“We wish all the lads that have left the best for the future endeavors and hope to see them at Castle Park again sometime in the future.”

2020/21 Season Tickets are now on sale with more new signings coming soon

Full List of departing players.

Ben Hunter

Bomber Hislop (Wasps)

Charlie Foley (Hartpury RFC)

Conor Joyce

Harry Strong

Howard Packman

James Kane

James Mitchell (Jersey Reds)

James Newey

Jerry Sexton

Joe Jones (Coventry)

Matt Challinor (Rotherham Titans)

Matt Smith (Rotherham Titans)

Sam Pocklington (Rotherham Titans)

Will Britton (Gloucester)

Vacancy | Performance Analysis Internship

Job Description

For the 2021/22 season, Doncaster Knights are looking for two Performance Analyst interns to join their team. This is an exciting opportunity for aspiring analysts to gain valuable employment with an elite level rugby club.

Main roles will include –

  • Available for at least one day a week/two with home matches
  • Filming and capturing training throughout the week and home games on weekends
  • Helping the head analyst set up on match days
  • To learn and code training and games using analysis software
  • Work on mini projects reporting back on general areas of the game and training
  • Develop your skill set within performance analysis

Person Specification

  • Have an interest in Rugby Union or sport
  • Be computer literate, mainly with Macs
  • Familiar using Microsoft Office, WeTransfer, internet research engines, and apple utilities.
  • Willingness to be flexible with time and work
  • Be committed to working with a team environment and have the ability to complete projects within specific time frames
  • The person must have good time keeping, be enthusiastic, reliable, organised and have the ambition to learn performance analysis.

What Can You Expect in Return

  • The opportunity to gain valuable experience in a professional rugby environment
  • Develop your skill set in analysis software & have the opportunity to work with elite athletes and coaches in high performance
  • References for any future employment or education positions

THIS ROLE IS UNPAID

Should anyone be interested in taking up this fantastic opportunity then contact Burhan Torgut on Analyst@castle-park.co.ukwith a cover letter with your contact details on outlining your ambition with this role and a CV by Monday 26thJuly 2021