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Peters Enjoying the Professionalism of Doncaster Knights

Lock Josh Peters signed for the Knights from Stade Dijonnais in Nationale, the French third tier, in the summer of 2021.

Peters had previously played his rugby in Spain – where he grew up – for Marbella RFC as well as for Oundle School in Northamptonshire.

The forward was tempted back to playing in England by not only an opportunity to test himself in the Championship with Doncaster but also, to be closer to family following a year under COVID-19 restrictions.

“I did my year away in France and that was fun, I enjoyed it, but with the COVID thing, I wanted to be a bit closer to family and friends.

“The rugby over there is a bit looser, I think that’s the best term. Everything’s very emotionally driven in the game in France. There’s a lot of rivalries and fighting for positions. It’s very different, but I enjoyed it none the less.

“Coming to Doncaster, it’s been very professional – especially compared to France. In France, there’s probably more money in the game but there’s less direction in things.”

The forward believes he has settled in to his new squad well, especially since he was already familiar with a couple of his fellow players.

“I already knew Sam Olver because I went to school with him – his dad was actually my tutor at school – so I’ve always been close with him. I also knew a few guys from age-grade stuff with England, but it has been nice to get to know everyone properly.”

English-born, Peters spent a large chunk of his childhood living in Spain and, despite being recognised at England U18 level, has his international caps as part of the Spanish national set-up.

“I grew up out in Spain, so before I ever played for the England age-grades I played for the Spain age-grades. Then England saw me playing for Spain, saw my surname, and asked if I would be interested in coming over here to do some training with them.

“So, doing that was what put me in touch with Sam Olver’s dad, who sorted me out with my schooling and all that. It all fell into place nicely, to be fair – I was very lucky.”

Discussing the possibility of more international caps in the future, the lock explains his focus is with the Knights, though he would be delighted to again feature internationally.

“It’s hard at the moment to get the balance. I want to play as many games as I can here and going away with Spain is actually quite difficult with the whole COVID situation – it means I miss games here.

“I had a bit of a bad experience last year where I went away for too long and it was hard to get back into the team. So, I want to try to centre myself here, but if there were vital games, then I do want to be playing for Spain.”

Peters will need to be playing at his sharpest to feature for his international side again and, also, if he and the wider Knights squad wish to hand a defeat to the league leaders this weekend as Ealing Trailfinders travel to Castle Park.

“I feel like I’m going well – I just need to keep fit and stay on top of things, and hopefully that means I’ll have a good season for us.

“Our scrum is pretty solid. We’ve got a few work-ons still in maul time but I feel like it will gel together at some point in the near future – though hopefully the very near future, like, before this weekend’s game.

“We’ve got Ealing at home, which is never an easy game, then Pirates away is a tough one, mainly because of the travel, and then a derby against Nottingham. So, I think we need to be tight in these games. 

“It’s a really important block for us, and an important block in the season, because I feel like there’s a lot of points to be gained and taken away from other teams. I mean, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all, there’s still a lot of games to play, but I think this is a really important block.”

The first test of the block, against Ealing Trailfinders at Castle Park, takes place this Saturday, Nov 27. Kick off is at 2:30pm and tickets are available at https://www.drfc.co.uk/tickets/

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