Doncaster RLFC: Groat to return against Hunslet | Carr set for long-awaited debut

Matt Groat

Matt Groat

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Doncaster’s hopes of finally getting off the mark in Sunday’s Championship clash against Hunslet Hawks at the Keepmoat Stadium (2pm) will be boosted by the return to action of prop Matt Groat.

Coach Gary Thornton is delighted to have the strong-running Australian available again after a three-match ban.

“He’s a big man to stop and helps give us our go-forward and links well with Mitch Clark,” he said.

Thornton has brought in half-back Joe McLocklan and hooker Ryan Wright, both from Dewsbury, this week.

With Richard Wilkinson having been ruled out for several weeks at best after a scan discovered a blood clot in his thigh, McLocklan is expected to feature against Hawks.

Wright, who Thornton feels will give his side a different option at acting half-back, is looking to get back into action after a spell away from the game and joins the club as a free agent.

“He’s not the biggest of kids but he’s very lively from dummy-half,” said Thornton.

“His arrival also means that I don’t have to keep switching Mike Emmett from loose-forward.”

The game could also see former Whitehaven full-back Tom Carr finally make his long-awaited debut nearly a year after being signed.

“He’s trained for the last two weeks and could come into the squad,” said Thornton.

Thornton will be in charge at the Keepmoat for the first time since taking over.

“I’m hoping that the wide open spaces will benefit us against a Hunslet team whose pride will have been hurt this week,” he said. “I’d expect several players missing at Leigh to be back.”