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Knights Sign Academy Graduate Hopkinson to First Team Deal

The club are ecstatic to announce Doncaster Knights Academy second/back row Adam Hopkinson has signed a first team deal ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Adam spent nearly four years in the Academy set-up having joined in 2020 as a young Yorkshire prospect.

Discussing Adam’s step-up to the first team, Head Coach Steve Boden said: “We’re delighted that Adam has agreed to sign for the club on a first team contract. It’s a great success story that he’s developed his way through the Academy. He got an opportunity at the back end of the 2022/23 season due to injury and I think he’s been a great example of being ready to take your opportunity.

“I think Adam showed that he can compete, and he’s got a lot of potential at Champ level, so we’re really excited to see how much he can grow in the first team environment.

“Another great bonus for us, and something that we’re really passionate about, is that he’s Yorkshire born, and he’s come through the Academy’s pathway, which is showing some of the hard work the club, and Tyson Lewis, has been doing to put in place a pathway here for those lads to step up to professional rugby.

“Obviously it’s very early in Adam’s career, and there’s a lot of work to be done with a long way to go, but we see the potential in him so hopefully he’ll become a first team regular for years to come.”

Academy head coach Tyson Lewis is also delighted at the progress of his player, who follows in the footsteps of Sam Jones, Will Holling and Alan Hudson in graduating from the Academy into the Knights set-up.

“It is with great pride, another member of our Academy graduates to sign their first professional contract with the first team. Adam follows on in the footsteps of other Academy graduates before him.

“It demonstrates our Academy continues to grow and is very much a viable option/pathway for young players to attain their dreams alongside studying an education discipline.

“Adam has been an immensely important cog in the Academy wheel for the last 4 years now and its testament to his fortitude and hard work, that he is now at this point and is about to take his next step on his playing path.

“A popular member amongst his peers, Adam has been an absolute pleasure to coach and witness his growth and development first hand, these attributes put him in great stead for the next challenge. We wish him all the best and look forward to watching the next step of his journey.”

Adam started in the Knights Academy set-up in 2020. His young CV already includes Sandal RUFC, Doncaster Phoenix and representative honours for Yorkshire County and Yorkshire Carnegie’s U16s and U18s. From a leadership standpoint, Adam captained his university side Gloucestershire U20s and South West County U20s.

Adam made his Knights first team debut in February 2023 in a Championship Cup fixture against Coventry at Butts Park Arena before making a further 5 appearances throughout the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

The youngster is looking to progress well with the Knights having overcome instances of doubt in his rugby career.

“This season for me has been the epitome of not knowing what’s around the corner. I’d set this season out to go back to my roots and to enjoy my rugby again with the Academy and Sandal RUFC.

“To have come through the system has definitely been a struggle and I’ve definitely taken the hardest route, but it has made moments with the Knights so much more memorable.

“I can’t thank my family, teammates, girlfriend, and coaches enough for believing in me when I couldn’t. I’m ecstatic about stepping up this season and embracing the challenge of Championship rugby.”

We look forward to seeing what Adam can bring to the Knights throughout 2023/24.

Adam will be sponsored by Leeds Motorcycle Training for the duration of the 2023/24 season – find out more about the business HERE.

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