Doncaster Knights players keen to end season strongly in memory of Ian Williams

Doncaster Knights will play their first game since the sudden death of prop Ian Williams at Cornish Pirates tomorrow - weather permitting.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 5:00 am
Doncaster Knights prop Ian Williams, 27, collapsed and died in training.
Doncaster Knights prop Ian Williams, 27, collapsed and died in training.

A second inspection early this morning will decide whether the Championship clash at the Mennaye Field will go ahead.

The ground was passed fit yesterday but a final decision will be made prior to Knights’ scheduled departure at 9am which will also take into account the surrounding areas and travel network.

“Obviously we will never forget Ian and it will always be a sad day in the history of this great club,” director of rugby Clive Griffiths told The Star.

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“But the boys want to play and judging by the contact in Monday’s session they are ready for the game.

“The players, just as they will in every other game this season, want to go out and win it for Ian’s memory.”

If the game does go ahead Pirates will come into it on the back of a 21-12 win over third-placed Yorkshire Carnegie last weekend – a result which boosted Knights’ hopes of finishing the season in third place.

“We are only a point behind Carnegie now and we’ve definitely got third place in our sights,” said Griffiths.

“We’ve built up some momentum in recent weeks and we’ve scored some outstanding tries.

“We’ve obviously got to do a bit of work in defence and we weren’t happy to concede six tries against Hartpury even though we won.

“Pirates are a good side who are well coached and I’m expecting a tough game.

“I don’t think we did ourselves justice the last time we played down there nor did we when we lost to them at home earlier in the season.

“After several seasons of them getting the better of us we got the better of them for a couple of years but they’ve won the last two.”

Fly-half Declan Cusack, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is booked in for a knee reconstruction operation early next week.

The Irishman suffered the injury within minutes of coming off the bench against Hartpury.