Chance offer led to Doncaster Knights star switching sports

Doncaster Knights have a genuine all-rounder in Alex Dolly.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 9:57 am
Alex Dolly scores in the win against Richmond last time out. Photo: John Ashton

The Australian-born scrum half actually arrived in England in 2017 to play club cricket.

Back home Dolly juggled both cricket and rugby, turning out for North Sydney Cricket Club whilst playing representative rugby for city, country and state.

Four years ago cricket was taking priority; he signed for Flowery Field CC, based in Hyde, to play in the Greater Manchester Cricket League.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But a chance offer then ignited his rugby career.

“I was playing cricket in Manchester – I signed as an overseas player to a team there,” Dolly told Knights’ official website.

“Then, through my brother (Nic Dolly, Leicester Tigers hooker]) when he was playing at Sale, the A-League head coach had an injury in his squad, so asked me, ‘Do you fancy coming down to play for us?’

“So, I thought I would do the six months with Fylde then just go back to my cricket season.

“But then I ended up at Rotherham for a year before signing for Nottingham.”

Since arriving at Castle Park, Dolly has began to form a strong half-back partnership with Sam Olver but, ahead of this weekend’s trip to Hartpury, the 25-year-old admits Knights are yet to hit their straps as a team.

Doncaster sit fourth in the early Championship standings having won four of their opening six games but Dolly says the squad have not been satisfied with the level of performance.

“I think getting that complete performance is most important,” he said.

“I don’t think we judge ourselves on wins or losses – we try to judge ourselves on how we performed and I don’t think we’ve put that complete performance together yet.

“We’ve been good on one side of the ball and maybe not the other, but we haven’t put them both together. We are moving in the right direction though.

“We’ve got a couple of wins now – Jersey was a big turning point for us as defensively we were very good, whereas at Ampthill we let things get away from us but against Richmond we put another peg forward with our attack.

“We’ve got a tough run of games coming up with Hartpury, Ealing and Cornish so we’re going to need to be at our best to get results in those games.”