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Aussie Kane becomes Knights first new arrival.

Doncaster Knights are delighted to announce the signing of Australian utility back James Kane for the 2020/21 campaign.

The 24-year-old signs having most recently represented NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship (NRC); Australia’s top domestic competition below Super Rugby.

Capable at fullback, on the wing or in midfield Kane offers versatility as well as an extensive skill set. Inbound Director of Rugby Steve Boden says he’s a player he’s excited to bring into the group. “James is a fantastic signing for us, we’ve done plenty of research on him and, first and foremost, I’m confident we’re getting a good team man.

“His ability to make good decisions under pressure and read the game a step or two ahead is what brought James to our attention; he’s a very smart footballer.”

James was key for Sydney University as they won back-to-back Shute Shields in 2018 and 2019 – his goal kicking a particular feature.

James finished the 2019 Shute Shield campaign with a goal kicking success rate of 86.4% as well as gaining a reputation as the best penalty for touch kicker in the competition, able to kick effectively off both feet.

Born in Ascot (UK), Kane was a keen footballer as a youngster and continued to play after moving to Australia.

Boden believes that a move back to England with the Knights provides an idyllic environment for the skillful outside back to flourish. “With James being English qualified it’s a great opportunity for him to test himself in the Northern Hemisphere and we’re very excited to be working with him.

“Let’s make sure he gets the warmest of welcomes when he arrives at Doncaster.”

Having left England for Australia 12 years ago, the move back to the UK is a big one for the 2019 Shute Shield Roscoe Fay Trophy winner but James says he can’t wait to touch down on Yorkshire soil. “I am beyond excited to start a new chapter with Doncaster Knights and looking forward to the challenge of a different style of rugby.

“Doncaster has a very successful history in English rugby and to be able to return to the UK under the guidance of Bodes [Steve Boden] is a very special opportunity.

“Making the decision to cross the pond isn’t one I’ve taken lightly but having spoken to a few of the current players, and players who have made the jump before me and I’m certain in my choice.

“From what I’ve heard Doncaster is a great club and, more importantly, has a strong community akin to the one we have at Sydney Uni.”

You can check out James’ full highlights reel here on YouTube.

James’ signing takes the number of Knights contracted for 2020/21 to eleven. With more announcements coming soon be sure to keep checking drfc.co.uk & the Knights social media.

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]

JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR]

 

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