The Knights are delighted to announce the double signing of centre Will Owen and second-row Tom Hicks from local rivals Rotherham Titans.
The pair have been two of the stand-out performers for the Titans in a tricky Championship campaign at Clifton Lane and will look to make their mark on the Knights squad next term.
Will Owen was named Titans captain at the start of this season and has barely missed a beat for our South Yorkshire neighbours, the centre is very highly rated and with an abundance of experience in the Championship.
Prior to his move to Rotherham, Owen spent two seasons with Birmingham Moseley making over fifty appearances before picked up by former Rotherham DoR Lee Blackett.
Prior to signing at Billesley Common, Owen had been a member of the academy at Newport Gwent Dragons. While there, he also played briefly for Ebbw Vale and Cross Keys and Clive Griffiths is very excited to have captured the 23-year-old’s services. “Will has shown what he can do against us during his time at Moseley and then at Titans so we are now fortunate he will be doing that for us!
“He will boost our group of centres, having the ability to play either 12 or 13, adding a bit of versatility to the squad as well. Not only that he is a leader of men and will bring his leadership qualities to the squad.”
The Knights secured a playoff spot for the second season running at the weekend and Owen states that the Club’s form and ambition are a big part of his decision to join. "Doncaster Knights have had some great seasons in recent years and I am very much looking forward to adding to that and continuing the momentum into the 2017/18 season.
“Having spoken with Clive Griffiths and with aspirations of playing in the Premiership or Pro 12 it is clear Doncaster is the right place for me to continue to develop.
“I admire the playing style Clive has instilled, and the opportunity to play at Castle Park is one I couldn't turn down.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Rotherham, the people involved with the Club are fantastic and I certainly wish them all the best in the future."
Owen will be joined at Castle Park by former Northampton Saints and Gloucester Rugby lock Tom Hicks.
Standing at six foot eight Hicks could prove to be a real asset in the line-out whilst also boasting top-flight experience.
Hicks, a former England Under 19 international, progressed through the Saints Academy before signing with Gloucester, going in to make 14 first team appearances at Kingsholm. Whilst with the Cherry and Whites, the imposing lock also spent time on loan in the Championship with Plymouth Albion making his move to Rotherham ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
The 25-year-old become the second new second row to sign for 2017/18 following the announcement of Morgan Eames last month and Griff is confident he will be a real asset to the squad. “Tom is an outstanding line-out forward and will bring outstanding expertise to that area of the game, not only with his considerable size but also his awareness. He will bring a most welcome presence to our forward game as we strive to play the kind of rugby we want to.”
Commenting on his move, Hicks also stated that the Club’s vision was a key driver behind his decision and that he can’t wait to get going as a Knight. “I would like to start by thanking Rotherham Titans and their fans on what has been a tough season, but a great opportunity for me to play in the Championship and meet some great people.
“I am delighted to have signed for Doncaster Knights, I was very impressed by the set up and the vision that Clive and the rest of the coaching team have for the future.
“I already know a few of the boys at Doncaster and am really looking forward to the challenge ahead, joining up with my new team mates, coaching team and meeting the supporters of a great club”