Doncaster RLFC: Russ Spiers happy to be among the leaders in the Dons pack

Russ Spiers (right) pictured in action against Coventry. Photo: Rob Terrace
Russ Spiers (right) pictured in action against Coventry. Photo: Rob Terrace
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Dons boss Gary Thornton made no secret of the fact that prop Russ Spiers was one of the players he wanted to keep following relegation from the Championship in 2015.

But Spiers, who had been at the club for three years, elected to join York City Knights along with several team-mates.

“It was a 50-50 decision, really.” recalled Spiers. “I didn’t know what to do but I eventually decided to join York.

“The club put together a really strong squad and we were confident of doing well and pushing for promotion but things started to go wrong off the field and eventually that started to affect the players.

“I was out of contract at the end of the season and Gary (Thornton) rung me about coming back.

“I’m glad to be back, especially given the quality forwards the club have brought in since I was last here.

“The likes of Makali Aizue, Feka Paleaaesina and Jamie Thackray give the side a lot of experience and we’ve got also some good younger players coming through as well and they’ll benefit from playing with those players and hopefully, with me.

“You need to have a good pack because there are some big sides and it’s a really physical league.

“I don’t know what happened last season, but I can’t see any team bossing us around in the forward exchanges this season.

“I certainly think we are going to be up there with the likes of Barrow and the new Toronto club. It will be interesting to see what York do this season having been saved during the winter.

“We play them early next month at Bootham Crescent and I’m looking forward to going back there. It’s always good to go back to one of your old clubs and make a bit of an impact.”

He added: “Obviously it’s important that we do well at the Keepmoat Stadium, and we got off to a winning start against Coventry on Sunday, but we’ve also got to do well on the road.

“We need to win our home games but we also need to be able to back it up every week as well.

“We play our first away league game of the season against North Wales Crusaders at Wrexham on Sunday and it’s always a tough place to go.

“We want to get the season off to a good start and if we pick up a win on Sunday then we’ll be on our way to doing just that.”