DONCASTER Knights’ centre OIlie Goss is relishing the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage in Championship rugby in Sunday’s Yorkshire derby against Leeds at Headingley.
Goss missed all thee of the club’s pre-season games following a shoulder operation and had to settle for a place on the bench - coming on in the second half of both - in the club’s opening two games against Bristol and Cornish Pirates.
But his performances off the bench, coupled to Tom Luke’s switch to fly-half, has seen Goss make the No 13 shirt his own in the last three games.
Originally signed as a scrum-half four years ago, most of Goss’s first-team appearances in recent seasons have either been on the wing or at full-back.
“I enjoy playing centre and hopefully I can enjoy a run of games there because I feel settled in the position,” he told The Star.
“It’s good to be playing in the backline that we’ve assembled this year.
“We’ve got some strong ball carriers in PJ (Gidlow) and Tom Luke and also a very good ball-player in Mick Whitehead and two very attacking scrum-halves.
“The club have also assembled a really serious forward pack so we (the backs) have had a good platform in most games and when that happens we are not in any danger of failing to score tries.
“The way we play we will always score tries and that’s the sort of team with which I want to be involved
“We’ve probably conceded more points than we would have liked but the longer the season goes on I think the defence will improve - especially when defensive coach Neil Kelly returns from the World Cup.
“We have got some excellent defenders inside of me and also the boys in the back-row, and that makes my job a lot easier.”
Leeds go into the game on the back of a 52-10 beating at Cornish Pirates.
“Pirates are incredibly strong at home so it wasn’t a huge surprise,” said Goss.
“I think Leeds are in a difficult position because of how late it was last season that they realised that they were going to be relegated and it didn’t give them much time to plan anything after losing most of their top players. But they are a young talented side who will get better the longer the season goes on.
“I’ve never played against Leeds or played at Headingley, but I’ve watched a lot of rugby league there and I’m looking forward to it because the wide pitch will suit us. We’ve got a lot of pace and out wide is where we are looking dangerous this year.”