Field of Dreams

SHE may not understand the offside rule but as Rhonda Job settles into her position as the first female chief executive in professional rugby she is fully prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Doncaster Knights newest signing - who admits to never even watching a full game of rugby before joining the club - is confident her business background can give the team a helping hand off the pitch.

Mrs Job, a retired business development worker, said: "So far so good everyone has made me feel really welcome. I've never worked in a sporting role before so it's a vertical learning curve.

"I don't come from a sporting background but I think my business background means that I can add value to the club as I'm not so emotional and can be quite impartial and see things from a business point of view"

After becoming the most promoted From previous page

side in English history the team can now lay claim to a new record after hiring what is believed to be the first female chief executive in professional rugby - an achievement that Mrs Job plays down.

"The chair's the same whether you're male or female so I don't really see what difference it makes, it's just about doing a good job but I suppose it's nice to be unique."

Mrs Job, who moved to Doncaster from Scotland 21 years ago, was happily enjoying her retirement at home in north Doncaster - a decision she made to spend more time with her husband - before she was approached by the club.

"I had no intention of going back to work. I'd retired for life but I was approached about this and had the opportunity to come and have a look at how things work here. I can't resist a challenge. I think trying different things in life gives you a new lease of life."

And it seems Mrs Job, who took up the post in June, is already making her mark after seeing a record attendance at last Friday's friendly against Glasgow Warriors.

"We had about three times as many people as the average attendance for a friendly around 2,654 and we are continuing to try and raise awareness of the club I think it's the biggest and best kept secret in Doncaster.

"For people who haven't been to see Doncaster Knights I would say come down and just enjoy the whole experience, we put a lot of different events on too that people can enjoy in a family friendly safe environment."

And despite continually moving up the leagues Mrs Job is now keen to see the team climb one step further by reaching the Premiership and intends to make provisions so they can stay there when they do.

"The coaches are all so good at their jobs and they are working with the team from that perspective trying to get them to the Premiership, where as my job is off the pitch so that when they make that leap there is the financial security there.

"You see it when teams move into different leagues and they can't sustain it financially. I think that is very sad when that happens so that will definitely be one of my priorities."

But as well as working hard behind the scenes Mrs Job is confident she can find time to brush up on her rugby knowledge and is looking forward to cheering the boys on from the sidelines.

"I'd never watched a rugby game in my life but my husband played as a boy and he was very good. He's really passionate about it so he's teaching me the ropes.

"I'm looking forward to learning all about the game, but at the minute it's still early days and he's still teaching me about the offside rule, as it were."

* Doncaster Knights will take on Bedford Blues on Saturday, September 5, 3pm kick-off. It features fun for all the family with a school theme including sports day events for children during the day and a traditional school disco.