Doncaster Knights add six new players in preparation for 2021-22 campaign
It has been a busy few days on the recruitment front for Doncaster Knights, with six new players joining their squad ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
The additions of ex-Cornish Pirates duo Harry Davey and Maliq Holden were swiftly followed by the arrival of former Bedford Blues prop forwards Joe Wrafter and Henry Paul.
Knights also announced on Friday deals for second row pair George Oram and Josh Peters from Richmond and French third tier side Stade Dijonnais respectively.
Davey was born in Dewsbury and has made the move back to Yorkshire having joined the Pirates from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2019.
The 22-year-old made his senior debut for Yorkshire Carnegie in March 2017 against London Irish in the quarter-final of the British and Irish Cup.
Head coach Steve Boden said: “I worked with Harry at Yorkshire Carnegie where we converted him from a fly-half to a back three player successfully.
"Harry has had a couple of years of limited game time but we feel he has a lot of growth in his game as well as a lot of hunger & ambition and we believe he can really develop in our environment.”
Making the journey north with Davey is Pirates teammate Maliq Holden who switched to Penzance from Hartpury in May 2018.
The 25-year-old winger or full-back is a former Netherlands junior international who has also represented England Students and Bristol United in the A League. Holden was also a regular feature for the Pirates, making 29 appearances in 2020.
Boden added: “We feel Maliq has got the growth in his game that we want to work with and develop. He has pace and good natural skills and a real presence in contact; especially for an outside back."
Wrafter arrives after two impressive seasons at Goldington Road, which also included a loan spell with Premiership champions Harlequins while Paul first made the step up to Championship rugby in 2019.
Boden added: “Joe is an aggressive ball-carrier with great natural strength, size and power and we feel that he will compliment our front-row options.
“We see potential for a lot of growth in Joe’s game, especially at the set piece, and that he has the fundamentals to be a force in the Championship and ambition to kick on higher.
“Henry Paul has the raw ingredients to become an established prop in the Championship.
“He moves well, he has good skills and the basic fundamentals to be a strong scrummaging tight head. We are confident that with a good worth ethic and some hard graft that Joe can do very well for us here.”
Oram, 28, counts Blackheath, Rotherham Titans, Birmingham Moseley and Coventry among his former clubs but was sidelined last season through injury.
Boden said: “George is exactly what I believe a Doncaster Knights player should be about; he has a high work rate, he’s abrasive and is a great bloke for the environment.
“Everyone speaks very highly of him and he’s brought a lot into training already. His experience in the league will be very valuable in a position where we have lost a lot of experience.”
Peters, 25, has previously played for Marbella RFC, Coventry, Cambridge RUFC and was part of Northampton Saints Academy. He moved to Marbella as a two-year-old and has been capped by Spain five times.
"Josh has a varied background having played in France and Spain as well as in the UK,” said Boden. “We’ve watched a lot of his clips and like his athletic ability at the line out and abrasiveness in defence.
“He’s young and ambitious and has fit in really well already having moved over from France and believe he has a lot of upward potential.”