Knights confirm departing players list.
6th August 2021
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.
Bomber Hislop (Wasps)
Charlie Foley (Hartpury RFC)
James Mitchell (Jersey Reds)
Joe Jones (Coventry)
Matt Challinor (Rotherham Titans)
Matt Smith (Rotherham Titans)
Sam Pocklington (Rotherham Titans)
Will Britton (Gloucester)