Doncaster Knights' recruitment has made 'refreshing change' - Matt Challinor

Doncaster Knights stalwart Matt Challinor says the club’s new recruitment strategy has made a ‘refreshing change’ at Castle Park.

Matt Challinor
Matt Challinor

Knights, who return to action at home to Jersey on Saturday (2.30pm), have made a superb start to the shortened Greene King IPA Championship season by winning their first four games.

Head coach Steve Boden has overseen a radical overhaul of the playing squad since taking over from Clive Griffiths last year, reducing the average age and targeting players with the potential to play in the Premiership if they impress in Doncaster colours.

Club captain Challinor will retire from the professional game at the end of this season having made more than 250 appearances for Knights - more than any other player in the professional era - since arriving from Rotherham in 2010.

And the 37-year-old has welcomed Boden’s approach to building a new-look squad.

"This is obviously a really young team,” said Challinor. “He’s chosen to pick a really young and ambitious team.

"Now it’s not a case of players coming in and that being their ceiling.

"He’s getting players in who have the potential to kick on and play at a higher level.

"They’re really hungry and it’s a refreshing change to be honest.”

Knights are second in the table following wins against Ampthill, Coventry, Hartpury and Cornish Pirates.

"I don’t think we’ve hit our straps yet, I think there’s a lot of growth in the team and better performances to come,” said Challinor. “Potentially we could go and surprise a few and do really well.”