It will be a very different campaign for Doncaster Knights this season, according to captain Michael Hills.
Last season saw the newly-promoted Knights finish ninth in the Championship.
As well as survival the season also had an extra significance for Hills as the 30-year-old was given the chance to skipper his boyhood side for the first time.
While expectations were conservative last season, Hill believes that it will be a different story this time around.
And he says the squad are relishing the challenge and are capable of making their mark against some of the big boys.
“I’m excited for the new season, last season was a big honour for me to captain my boyhood club and I relished doing it,” he said.
“We were in a fortunate position – we had just been promoted and some might say there was a little bit less pressure on us, whereas this year we expect a lot more of each other and more of the team. It will be a different season for us.
“We did expect a lot of ourselves, especially after the first few games.
“I think that the people of Doncaster expected more but the main goal was to stay up so we will treat the season as a success.
“It is time to gain experience as a team and look to improve our position.”
There will be plenty of new faces lining up for the Knights when they get their new campaign underway against London Welsh in September with the likes of Ted Stagg, Jim Wigglesworth, Joe Sproston, Simon Humberstone and Michael Heaney all joining the ranks.
And Hills is confident that the new acquisitions are just what the club needs to push onto the next level.
“The signings speak for themselves, we have guys with very good experience at this level and higher who will create a lot more for us,” he said.
“A leader in the backs is what we need and we have signed two or three of them. We have strengthened the forward pack, in the front row.
“I’m really excited for the season, we’ve got a good bunch of lads and everybody is moving in the right direction.”