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Strachan Relishing Opportunity to Excel for Knights

Centre Fraser Strachan signed for the Knights this summer having played last season for fellow Championship side, Ealing Trailfinders.

Strachan had previously been a part of the Northampton Saints Academy, making four appearances for the senior side, before signing with Ealing for the 2020/21 season.

The former England U18 player signed with the Knights having been impressed with the club’s progress last season and with his sights set on more game time.

“It’s been really good since I’ve come in – I knew there were good coaches here and all of the lads have been really welcoming. We’re a fairly new squad, with quite a few new faces but seeing the results that Doncaster produced last year, I knew we’d be good this year.

“It’s been tough but I’ve really enjoyed it, and learned a lot already, which is what I wanted. I wanted to try to push on when I came here – to push on with my career, get some minutes under my belt and get some confidence from the coaches that they trust my game, which they have done.

“I think we got off to a bit of a slow start, just lacking a bit of game management in key moments where we had the chance to win games. But, definitely in the Jersey game, we took the key moments well, so I definitely see us going far in the season.”

Strachan, usually an inside centre, has moved to the outside position more this season to accommodate other players at 12. He praises the coaches for rotating the centres – Connor Edwards, Joe Margetts and Mark Best – in training to enable centre partnerships to form.

“Rotating players in training means you’re constantly working with all three centres, and going in and out of the 12 and 13 role. You build those partnerships in training so that, if we do mix it up in the games or someone gets injured, then we have that connection already, which is good.

“There’s nothing worse than going into a game not having prepared with the other centre because then you don’t know where they are defensively because everyone defends and attacks differently. So, the coaches always mix it up which means we’ve got a pretty good connection among us four centres.

“I’d say my challenge for the rest of the season will be becoming more comfortable with the 13 position. You have to defend differently and, I think, be a little smarter at 13. There’s a lot more players to defend and wider spaces to defend, you have to pick your shots right and decide whether to fly at the line or stay connected. I feel I’ve definitely gotten better and I’d like to push on with it for the rest of the season.”

Strachan will look to be on top of his game should he be selected against his former team, Ealing, later in the season. However, he believes that a confident and settled Knights side could be competitive enough to come out on top versus the West Londoners.

“They’ve got a really big squad, with depth in the squad, and everyone there has got a very good skillset, so they can play with the ball. If our discipline is poor and we give away a lot of penalties then we will be down three, six or nine points or being put in the corner to face their driving maul.

“They’re pretty relentless but, saying that, I think our physicality can beat them because they could go quiet if we put our attack on and we run with good intent. Defensively I think we could go one up on them by stopping them on the gain-line in the first two phases.”

The next opportunity to test the squad’s attacking intent will arrive when Doncaster Knights travel to Dillingham Park to face Ampthill on October 30.

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