Sam Graham latest to pen for 2020/21.
11th June 2020
22-year-old Sam Graham has put pen to paper on a one-year contract to join from Premiership heavyweights Bristol Bears.
Capable across the whole back-row Sam plays predominantly at six or eight and signs following two and half seasons at Ashton Gate.
During his time with the Bears, he made eight first team appearances, scoring on debut against Leinster A in the British & Irish Cup, as well as making twelve appearances for Bristol A in the Premiership Rugby shield.
After impressing in Bristol’s 2017/18 Championship winning side, Graham enjoyed a loan spell with Hartpury in 2019. He featured prominently after Christmas as the Gloucester-based side turned around their early season form to stave off relegation.
Speaking on Sam’s arrival, Head Coach Steve Boden believes the youngster has the exact sort of energy that he wants his new team to project next season. “After speaking to Sam it was quickly obvious he would be a good fit.
“He’s got natural ball-carrying ability and fantastic potential at the breakdown, we feel there are plenty of areas that we can grow his game and that has the right attitude to develop in our environment.
“He’s hungry to play at the highest level possible and we look forward to being a part of that journey.”
A product of Chippenham RFC, Sam got his first taste of the pro game with Bath Academy but after an unsuccessful trial period he upped sticks to New Zealand & enjoyed a successful rugby stint at Massey RFC in Auckland.
A conversation with Bristol Academy forwards coach, Mark Irish, brought Sam back to England where he seized his opportunity with both hands and now he is hoping to do the same in Donny colours. “What sealed the deal for me to sign for Doncaster was coming up to meet Steve Boden and hear his plans for the Knights. He showed me and my girlfriend around and we got a real feel for the family Club Donny is.
“Bodes was clear about the direction he wants the club to go in and told me how he saw me fitting in to that. We were made to feel so welcome and instantly knew that this was the right move.
“I’m looking forward to getting into a new environment with like minded people, there’s going to be a lot of fresh faces which is a fairly unique situation but one that’s very exciting.
“My main hope is to test myself against great players to earn the right to play for Doncaster week in week out. I’m really looking forward to being a part of a new-look Knights and making the most of a fresh start for myself.”
Sam’s signing takes the total of confirmed 2020/21 squad members eighteen.
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2020/2021 current squad.
ANDREW FOSTER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], KYLE EVANS [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], MATT SMITH [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], REISS CULLEN [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR], SAM OLVER [CONTRACT 2ND YEAR]
CHARLIE FOLEY [RETAINED 1 YEAR], HOWARD PACKMAN [RETAINED 1 YEAR], WILL HOLLING [RETAINED 1 YEAR], MATT CHALLINOR [RETAINED 1 YEAR], SAM POCKLINGTON [RETAINED 1 YEAR], ROBIN HISLOP [RETAINED 2 YEARS], BEN HUNTER [RETAINED 1 YEAR].
JAMES KANE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] MARK BEST [NEW SIGNING 1 + 1 YEAR] JAMES MITCHELL [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] CONOR JOYCE [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR] TOM HILL [SIGNING 2 YEARS] SAM GRAHAM [NEW SIGNING 1 YEAR]