Doncaster Knights: Mat Clark hoping to extend Castle Park stay
Centre Mat Clark, who has been one of Doncaster Knights’ most consistent performers since their return to the Championship, has more reasons than most to want to finish the season on a high.
The long-serving Clark is out of contract the end of the season and with no offer of a new deal on the table he knows that he has to finish the campaign strongly to boost his chances of staying at the club.
“It’s a great club and I’ve been here for a long time and I’d like to still be here next year if that is what the coaches want,” he said.
“Things are looking good for next season. A lot of the current squad have signed new deals and the club have already announced several big signings including centre Jack Roberts
“Hopefully I’ll get the chance in the remaining games to show that I’ve still got a lot of rugby in me at this level.”
Clark suffered several serious injuries during the second half of the 2017-18 campaign and has struggled to hold down a regular spot since returning to fitness.
But he has grabbed his chance with both hands since returning to the side in the defeat at Jersey at the start of the month and helped set up a crucial try in Saturday’s win over Bedford.
“I made the initial break but Tom (James) still had a lot to do to finish it,” he said.
“It was nice to get my hands on the ball a little bit on Saturday but there are still things that I need to work on.
“It took a while to get back after the injuries I had last season.
“There is a lot of competition at centre and I wasn’t able to get into the team because of how well other people were playing.
“I played a couple of games then suffered a slight niggle which kept me out for a week or so and then I had a bad game in the Championship Cup.
“Because I wasn’t getting into the team at the time I played a few games for Sheffield Tigers to keep my fitness levels up.”
With Knights having won for the first time in four games Clark is hoping to retain his place in the side to visit leaders London Irish on Saturday week.
“We know it’s going to be tough but we feel that if we prepare right and go into a game with the right attitude and everything clicks then we are always in with a chance,” he said.
“This year’s league is very tight and the results at the weekend (which saw the top two beaten by teams in the bottom four) showed that everyone is capable of beating any of the other teams on their day.”