The first of England U19 Men’s 2024 fixtures take place this Saturday (30th March) at Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park, with head coach Andy Titterrell naming his matchday 26 to take on France.

Titterrell, the U20 Men’s assistant coach, assumes the mantle this week in Yorkshire following on from his side’s Under-20 Men’s Six Nations Championship victory and is accompanied by Mark Mapletoft in the coaching set-up.

The fixture kicks-off at 13:00 GMT on Saturday, with tickets still available to purchase here.

The U19 side serves as an avenue for England Rugby pathway players to develop their skillsets with meaningful gametime on the international circuit, with fixtures also giving valuable minutes to players eligible for U20 selection in the summer’s World Rugby U20 Championships in South Africa.

Last year’s entertaining bill of fixtures, which saw England triumph 60-14 and 28-26 over Wales and Italy respectively, featured the likes of Nathan Michelow and Archie McParland who went on to recently achieve Under-20 Six Nations honours under Titterrell and Mapletoft.

This weekend’s squad includes 4 U20 Elite Player Squad members (Jacob Oliver, Olamide Sodeke, Kane James, Josh Bellamy) that won the recent U20 Six Nations Championship, and will be led by Thomas Burrow.

Alfie Longstaff, Tye Raymont, Oscar Beckerleg and Tom Burrow also attended the maiden pathway front-five forwards camp led by Titterrell and U18 Men’s head coach Jonathan Pendlebury last autumn.

England follow up this weekend’s contest with a trip to L’Aquila to take on Italy U19 Men on Saturday 6th April 2024 at the Stadio Tommaso Fattori.

“These are a unique set of fixtures which gives both coaches and supporters a flavour of the talent coming through the pathway,” Andy Titterrell stated.

“We’re fortunate enough to boast Six Nations winners within this squad already, and that’s testament to their rate of development, willing to learn and excellent work ethic. Coming off what has been an enthralling eight weeks, I’m pleased to report this group have kept excitement high within the coaching staff.

“Doncaster have been incredibly hospitable with their facilities this week and have allowed us to prepare well for what will no doubt be a compelling match this Saturday.”

England U19 Men’s side to face France:

15 Jack Kinder (Leicester Tigers)
14 Jack Bracken (Saracens)
13 Angus Hall (Saracens)
12 Charlie Myall (Leicester Tigers)
11 William Glister (Northampton Saints)
10 Joshua Bellamy (Harlequins)
9 Max Blinkhorn (Nottingham University)

1 Ralph McEachran (Sale Sharks)
2 Jacob Oliver (Newcastle)
3 Tye Raymont (Sale Sharks)
4 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens)
5 Thomas Burrow (c) (Sale Sharks)
6 Reuben Logan (Northampton Saints)
7 George Timmins (Bath Rugby)
8 Kane James (Exeter Chiefs)
16 Alfie Longstaff (Yorkshire Rugby Academy)
17 Bronson Mellowes (Leicester Tigers)
18 Owen Popple (Hartpury)
19 Oscar Beckerleg (Exeter Chiefs)
20 Simon Koroiyadi (Leicester Tigers)
21 Dom Hanson (Sale Sharks)
22 Benjamin Coen (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Conor Byrne (Harlequins)
24 Sol Moody (Exeter Chiefs)
25 Isaac Keller (Newcastle Falcons)
26 Campbell Ridl (Exeter Chiefs)

You can still get your tickets to the future of international rugby, right here (Save £4 by booking online)…


Press Statement | The future of Tier 2


The Championship Clubs Committee met today to hear an update from their Executive on progress made in discussions about the future of Tier 2 of English rugby.

While there was at one point in the recent history of this crucial process a deadline of March 31st for the selection of clubs for a second tier, that deadline was scrapped some time ago and there are currently a series of important and intensive discussions going on around the league, which will be launched for the 2025/26 season.

Those discussions between the CCC, the RFU and, where relevant, Premiership Rugby Ltd, cover all the basic points needed to establish a new Tier 2 for the good of the English game and for the security and planning necessary to the current Championship clubs.

There is no deadline for these discussions, although clearly it is important that agreement is reached as quickly as possible so that planning for both the new Tier 2 league and for the 2024/25 season can begin.

Solid progress has been made on the various issues being discussed. The parties involved believe that an agreement is within reach, although some very important topics still need to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion for all the parties.

These are vital discussions and are taking place in an intensive, progressive and co-operative atmosphere.

No doubt, when outstanding issues are resolved, a public statement will be made, but in the meantime, please be assured that the future of Championship clubs and the interests of those who aspire to join the second tier of our game are being given the priority they deserve by all of us involved.

Simon Halliday, Chairman, Championship Clubs Committee.  



MATCH REPORT vs Cornish Pirates | Knights 27 – 27 Pirates

An extraordinary game at Castle Park, in which there was one red card and three yellows, saw an outstanding recovery by Doncaster who played most of the contest with 14 men and yet surprisingly drew, having been 22-3 behind 10 minutes into the second half.

Report by: Guy Williams

Photo Credit: John Ashton 

Both sides were guilty of a lack of discipline with Doncaster’s winger, Maliq Holden, being shown a red card and later flanker Fyn Brown was sin-binned, so at one stage the Knights were reduced to 13 only.

Pirates, too, regularly upset the referee who penalised them 21 times and also handed out yellow cards for deliberate knock-ons to winger Will Trewin and centre Ioan Evans.

At one point, it seemed the referee had lost control as a mass brawl erupted, but in between all the ill-discipline, several good tries were scored in an encounter resulting in three points for Pirates and two for Doncaster.

Pirates were well on top after the break following two tries by hooker Morgan Nelson, the award of a penalty try and then a fourth from Trewin, so with a lead of 22-3, Pirates should have been home and dry.

Instead, the Knights produced a remarkable fight-back in which they smashed the Pirates’ defence on 53, 57 and 77 minutes, and with fly half Russ Bennett kicking accurately-three conversions and two penalties-astonishingly Doncaster were drawing 27 all.

Collectively they started making decent use of the ball, creating a fine try for centre Joe Margetts, dashing in from 40 metres, and then the pace of winger George Simpson, again from 40 metres out, split the defence.

His second try, after sustained pressure by the forwards on the Pirates’ line, came from a long pass and as Simpson was unopposed, he touched down simply, but ran behind the posts making the conversion easier to draw level.

“ We made it hard for ourselves in the first half, but I’ve a lot of admiration for the team. With 13 men on the pitch, we were looking down a barrel, but we showed loads of character which is the number one trait you need in a team,” said Doncaster’s coach Joe Ford.


Having seemed to be certain of five points, Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle, was frustrated to head back to Penzance with only three.

“ We were in a commanding position at half time, so I’m disappointed, but give Doncaster credit because they were down to 14 men.

“ We gave them lifeline after lifeline and our errors fed Doncaster.”


Doncaster Knights: McBryde 7 Simpson 8, Margetts 8, Edwards 7, Holden, Bennett 8, Dolly 7(Fox 40 7), Davidson 6(Courtney 63 7), Roberts 6 (Terry 63 7), Thiede 6 (Barrett 48 7), Mintern 6 (Beckett 48 7), Brown 6 (63 Ehizode 7), Smeaton 7, Digby 7(Cant 57 7).


Cornish Pirates: Moyle 7, Trewin 6(Relton 67 6), Evans 6, Elderkin 7, McNab 7, Houston 7, Schwarz 7(Dawson 50 6), Zigiriadis 7(Andrew 61 6), Nelson 8(Williams 50 7), Johnson 7(Richardson 50 7), Britton 7(King 67 6), Barker 7, Everett 7, Stevens 7, Bokenham 7(Gibson 57 6).


Doncaster Knights:

Tries: Margett 53, Simpson 57,77. Conversions: Bennett 53, 57, 77. Penalties: Bennett: 42, 75.


Cornish Pirates:

Tries: Nelson 6, 38. Penalty try: 49. Trewin 50, Moyle 62.


Half time: 0-10.

Penalties conceded: 7-21.

Line outs won: 13-11.

Line outs lost: 4-3.

Scrums won: 3-3.

Scrums lost: 0-1.

Sin bin: Red card Maliq Holden 37 mins, yellow cards: Doncaster: Brown..Cornish Pirates: Trewin, Evans.

Referee: George Shelwood.

Attendance: 2012.

Star man: George Simpson – Doncaster Knights.


Next up at Castle Park: England vs France U19’s, Saturday 30th March, 1pm KO

Next up for the Knights: Knights vs Caldy, Sunday 14th April, 2:30pm KO 

Get your tickets here – drfc.co.uk/tickets 

TEAM NEWS | Knights vs Cornish Pirates | Round 16

The Knights take on visitors Cornish Pirates in Round 16 of the RFU Championship on Saturday 23rd March, 2:30pm KO, Castle Park.

We are pleased to welcome back Connor Edwards and Joe Margetts in to 12 & 13. Connor has recovered from his HIA at Nottingham & Joe has served his 3 week ban and has been training the house down in them 3 weeks & is ready to go.

Russell Bennet starts at 10 with Billy McBryde moving to fullback. They both work really well together & I’m looking forward to seeing this combination go again.

In the pack George Roberts comes in for Tom Doughty who has a slight muscle tweak, bringing Cameron Terry onto the bench, Archie Smeaton & Evan Mintern also come into the starting team after both impressing off the bench v Scottish.

Starting XV

  1. Connor Davidson
  2. George Robert
  3. Lewis Thiede
  4. Evan Mintern
  5. Ben Murphy
  6. Fyn Brown
  7. Archie Smeaton
  8. Jack Digby ©
  9. Alex Dolly
  10. Russell Bennett
  11. Maliq Holden
  12. Connor Edwards
  13. Joe Margetts
  14. George Simpson
  15. Billy McBryde



  1. Cameron Terry
  2. Harrison Courtney
  3. Corrie Barrett
  4. Charlie Beckett
  5. Ehize Ehizode
  6. Adam Hopkinson
  7. Ollie Fox
  8. AJ Cant

You can still purchase your matchday tickets here at drfc.co.uk/tickets

Press Statement | Doncaster Knights, RFU & The Premiership

A statement has been made from the RFU with regards to Doncaster Knights, meeting and passing the Minimum Standards Criteria, regarding eligibility for promotion into the top tier of English Rugby, the Premiership.

 Doncaster Knights has met the Minimum Standards Criteria (MSC) and is therefore eligible for promotion to then Gallagher Premiership.  Promotion is subject to coming top of the Championship league at the end of the season and then winning a two-legged home and away play-off against the club finishing bottom of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby table.

Doncaster Knights was the only Championship club to apply to for a MSC audit and is therefore the only club eligible for promotion. 

‘Of course we are delighted to pass the RFU audit for the second year running, we are very proud of our facilities and the staff here constantly strive towards the best performance, no matter their role.’ – Emma White, Managing Director

The Championship Rugby league table can be found here: www.englandrugby.com/fixtures-and-results/search-results?competition=173&division=47253&season=2023-2024#table

Match Highlights | Championship Rugby, Round Fifteen | Doncaster Knights 34 – 20 London Scottish

Really pleased to get the 5 points.

As we highlighted in the week, it’s a very tough place to go and it turned out that way.

I thought the forwards set piece, set a brilliant platform for us and then our kicking game coming out of our own half, allowed us to build a lot of pressure.

Frustratingly we weren’t at our best when we got the ball in “good ball” opportunities, so it is something we will look to work on these next couple of weeks, but overall happy to get the 5 points away from home.

The boys have a few days off now, after a tough 3 game block but we will come back in at the back end of the week to start preparations for Pirates. – Joe Ford, Head Coach

TEAM SHEET | Doncaster Knights Vs London Scottish | Round 15 Championship Rugby

Here are your Starting XV Doncaster Knights as they make their way to the capital to face London Scottish in Round 15 of Championship Rugby.

Couple of changes in this weeks forward pack, as Lewis Thiede comes in for Corrie Barrett at tighthead prop and Charlie Beckett starts at second row, replacing Harry Wilson. No changes within the backs as they put out a strong performance against Coventry last weekend, so hoping to take that same energy into this weekends fixture at Scottish.

The last time both teams met at the R.A.G in the Championship Rugby season, was back on 1st April earlier this year, where the Knights took a 24-33 victory back to Doncaster from the capital.

Starting XV

  1. Conor Davidson
  2. Tom Doughty
  3. Lewis Thiede
  4. Charlie Beckett
  5. Ben Murphy
  6. Fyn Brown
  7. Rhys Tait
  8. Jack Digby ©
  9. Alex Dolly
  10. Billy McBryde
  11. Jack Metcalf
  12. Russell Bennett
  13. Joe Bedlow
  14. George Simpson
  15. Maliq Holden


  1. George Roberts
  2. Harrison Courtney
  3. Corrie Barrett
  4. Evan Mintern
  5. Adam Hopkinson
  6. Archie Smeaton
  7. Ollie Fox
  8. Aloisi Vereimi

Follow all the action as it happens live over on the Knights X (Twitter) @doncasterknight

Match Report | Championship Rugby, Round Fourteen | Doncaster Knights 12 – 27 Coventry Rugby

Doncaster’s new era, following the departure of Steve Boden, with Joe Ford now in charge of coaching and advised by British and Irish Lions legend, Sir Ian McGeechan, began disappointingly at Castle Park where they were well beaten by a convincing Coventry side who’ve moved into second place in the Championship.

Coventry’s pack were outstanding, especially the front row of Toby Trinder, Jordon Poole and Adam Nicol, who were far too powerful for their opposite numbers who, overall, were penalised six times at the scrum.

Although Doncaster’s work-rate was exemplary throughout, Ford and McGeechan must be concerned that Doncaster’s pack were outfought and worried too that the line-out gave the ball away three times.

Alongside a dominant pack, creating three tries,Tongan fly half Pat Pellegrini shone for 80 minutes, setting up the try for flanker Tom Ball, and also striking two conversions and two penalties.

Their coach Alex Rea was delighted and is now preparing to take on league leaders Ealing Trailfinders at the Butts Park Arena next weekend.

“ I thought we controlled the game from start to finish, our scrum was excellent and our tighthead,Nicol,had a brilliant match.

“ Our energy and hunger to do all the unseen work was good and we did the basics really well.”

Playing almost the entire first half deep in their half and with no ball, Doncaster had no option but to defend effectively. Then in the second, at long last, they won some possession, scoring two tries by fly half Billy McBryde, driven over by a maul, and  on 78 minutes by replacement winger, Nat Greenwood, on loan from Newcastle Falcons, who won the chase for a ball that had been kicked towards Coventry’s posts.

This limited improvement arrived far too late, and a mediocre performance deteriorated when Doncaster lost concentration at the climax allowing centre Tom Hitchcock to add a third.

So, not the start that McGeechan and Ford needed.

“ I thought the attitude of the players was superb and we didn’t give Coventry any easy chances. It’s amazing to be back in a tracksuit again. It’s exciting and I’m really looking forward to it,” explained Sir Ian.

This was Doncaster’s fifth defeat in 13 games, and Ford acknowledges what the priority now is:

“ We struggled at the scrum, so we’ve got to work out how we can get that firing again. I’m proud of the fight we showed, we never gave in and our defence was awesome.”


-Words by Guy Williams

Match Highlights | Championship Rugby, Round Fourteen | Doncaster Knights 12 – 27 Coventry Rugby

Firstly, credit must go to Coventry, the way they put us under so much pressure through their set piece & forced us to come out of our half more than any other game this season was really impressive.

That being said, I thought the fight everyone of our players showed for the 80 minutes was incredible. I couldn’t have been prouder. To only concede 20 points with 79 minutes played was probably the best defensive performance I’ve seen since being at this club. Massive credit must go to Tyson Lewis here who prepared the lads brilliantly all week.

Our defence and the fight we showed for each other is a huge positive we must build on, knowing how hard we are to break down now. We will learn the lessons from the game, as we always do win or lose and get excited about making the trip down to the capital to face Scottish next week. –Joe Ford, Head Coach

TEAM SHEET | Doncaster Knights Vs Coventry Rugby | Round 14 Championship Rugby

Here are your Starting XV Doncaster Knights as they host Coventry Rugby at Castle Park in Round 14 of Championship Rugby.

Couple of changes in the pack with Tom Doughty and Ben Murphy coming in to start as they swap roles with Evan Mintern and George Roberts. As always, the bench will prove the difference, so their roles will change this week in finishing the game really strong for us.

In the backs, Connor Edwards misses out due to a HIA, which is frustrating for him, but really excited to see Billy McBryde and Russell Bennett playing at 10 & 12 together, which worked really well in previous games. George Simpson comes onto the wing after really impressing us last week off the bench.

Coming onto the bench on a short term loan is Winger, Nat Greenwood from Newcastle Falcons, to cover injury within the backs.

The last time both teams met at Castle Park was back in the 2022/23 season in Round 18, where Coventry took it to the Knights with a 39-45 away win.

Joe Ford, Head Coach


Follow all the action as it happens live over on the Knights X (Twitter) @doncasterknight