Doncaster Knights: Star man Hurrell sets the standard
The 2015-16 season will be a very tough act to follow for Doncaster Knights - particularly for centre Will Hurrell.
The strong-running 26-year-old capped an outstanding debut season at the South Yorkshire club with a powerhouse display in the Championship play-off final second leg win over Bristol at Ashton Gate.
Hurrell not only scored the club’s first try but caused panic for the star-studded Bristol side every time he got the ball.
His performance on the night may have been a major talking point with the various media pundits and led to speculation regarding his future career.
But it came as no surprise to those Doncaster supporters who made the long journey to Bristol or those who watched the game on television.
Whilst Hurrell, who scored in all four of the play-off games, may have saved arguably his best performance in a Doncaster shirt for the final game of the campaign, he proved one of the club’s standout performers week in, week out.
A fact reflected by the top awards - both team-mates and coaching staff honouring him - he picked up at the club’s end-of-season presentation night.
Hurrell, who remains under contract at Castle Park for another year, wasted no time in establishing himself as a fans’ favourite with his direct style of running and his partnership with Mat Clark will go down as one of the best in the club’s history.
“I thought we came together and formed a good centre partnership,” said Hurrell, who also operated on the wing at times.
“We spent a lot of time as a unit working on our defence - it’s something that (director of rugby) Clive Griffiths, as a former Wales defensive coach, is very keen on.
“We are both physical in defence and I like the physical side of the game.
“I always like to try and run over people when I’ve got the ball and I like to make big defensive hits.
“Although we had the freedom to make our own decisions when we felt something was on, as a team we were quite structured in attack.
“We had set moves which we worked hard on in training and which paid off in a lot of games. Skills coach Paul Cooke brought a lot of new ideas and drills to the table from rugby league as well as different angles of running.”