Doncaster Knights: Challinor set to give timely boost for testing Championship Cup clash

Doncaster Knights will be boosted by the return of veteran second-rower Matt Challinor in Saturday’s testing Championship Cup Pool 2 clash against Jersey.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 8:00 am
Doncaster Knights v Coventry Rugby. Doncaster's Matt Challinor is tackled by Coventry's Ben Adams. 20th April 2019. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Challinor played in the home win over the Reds at the start of the season, but has missed the last five games due to suspension.

“It will be good to have Matt available again,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths. “He’s been out for a few weeks but he’s worked hard in training and he is a naturally fit person.”

Wing Tyson Lewis (calf) and prop Colin Quigley, who had surgery last week, will join a host of other players - including centre Jack Roberts - on the sidelines

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“Jack was supposed to play for an hour for Sheffield Tigers last weekend with a view to being involved this weekend but he pulled up in the warm-up with a calf injury,” said the Welshman.

With full-back Cam Cowell not travelling due to a family matter, Griffiths is hoping that Steve McColl can prove his fitness before the squad fly out after the captain’s run on Friday.

The Scot played for Hull last weekend in order to get some minutes under his belt following injury - a game watched by Griffiths.

“He was the best player on the field,” he said. “He played all the game but later reported that he’d picked up an injury.”

Skipper Michael Hills, who missed the Ealing game, will also face a late fitness test.

Saturday’s game is viewed as crucial in the club’s bid to hold on to second spot in the second batch of pool games and victory over the third-placed Reds would put them in a strong position.

“Jersey is never an easy place to go with a full side let alone one still decimated by injuries,” said Griffiths. “But if we show the same commitment as we did against Ealing last time out then we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

“We all felt that the 27-0 scoreline when we played them in the league over there last month was very harsh with two of their tries coming late on when we were down to 13 men and that has served to act as added incentive to do well on Saturday.

“We don’t like being nilled and we’ll probably look to take the points on offer from any kickable penalties, whereas we generally kicked for the corner in that game.

“We will also be looking to be a bit more adventurous with the ball than in recent weeks.”