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Big Jon lands at the Castle

Canadian International lock forward Jon Phelan arrived at Castle Park only last week and was thrust straight into action coming off the bench in Saturday’s win over Newcastle Falcons.

Having only had his feet on English soil for a couple of days Jon has had hit the ground running but says that the immediate start hasn’t fazed him. “I haven’t been here long but so far it has been great, it has been a quick transition from arriving to playing my first game for the Knights. The win on Saturday was really good, the team played very well and despite being a little jet lagged I felt I contributed well.”

The lock forward came to the game late, only playing seriously from the age of 24 in his native Canada, but the 28-year-old picked up the sport very quickly and has had a rapid rise into the professional game and is looking forward to linking back up with Clive Griffiths. “I played under Griff before with North Wales based RGC 1404 before moving to Lille Metropole and then back to Canada to Victoria where the Canadian National squad are based. My head coach at Canada, Kieran Crowley had said to me that Griff was looking for a second row so I jumped at the chance.”

Saturday’s 40-26 win over Newcastle Falcons meant that Phelan’s time as a Knight got off to the best possible start and Jon is hoping to keep the good results coming against Tynedale on Saturday. “Overall we did very well on Saturday, there are always little bits and pieces to work on throughout the season but overall we were pleased.

“If I am being honest I haven’t heard of Tynedale before but I do know from the lads and coaches that they have a big forward pack and a strong lineout so that will be a focus of ours.

“It is another chance for the squad to continue to work on their systems and for me individually personally to become more familiar with them. I obviously have the line out calls down as that is my main role but there are some systems I need work on.”

At 6” 8’ Big Jon cuts an imposing figure and has big ambitions for the coming season. “I am aiming for a place in the starting XV, one of Griff’s go to second rows. “This will be my longest season so far and so I feel I have a lot to learn. I intend to work hard all year, my ultimate goal for the last 4 years has been to be a valuable and contributing member of the Canadian International team and hopefully a starter ahead of the 2015 World Cup and playing good rugby for Doncaster will be a great platform for me to achieve that.

“I am still getting familiar with my surroundings but I feel that the aim for Doncaster Knights this season will be to prove competitive and for teams to think of Doncaster as a tough place to play and a tough away team to face.”

This Saturday the Knights travel to Tynedale in their final pre-season game ahead of the 2014-2015 Championship Campaign. Last season the Knights battled out a one point win at Corbridge and so look forward to an extremely tough test to give them a kick start into the league campaign and finish their pre-season campaign well.

There is a supporters coach for the game which will leave Castle Park at 10.30am and costs £20 per head. To book your place please Telephone 07977112706 or email johnlowe1941@yahoo.co.uk?

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