Doncaster Knights: Sam Olver discusses his permanent switch to Castle Park and hopes for the season
Doncaster Knights are hoping for big things from fly-half Sam Olver in his first full season at Castle Park.
The former England U18 and U20 international joined Knights on loan from Championship rivals Ealing midway through last season – an arrangement since made permanent.
“I’m enjoying being here and it’s nice to be here as a full-time player rather than a loanee,” said the 24-year-old.
Olver, who will again be in competition with Tongan international Kurt Morath for the No 10 shirt, says his first pre-season campaign at Castle Park has gone well.
“It has been very professional,” he said. “What I’ve loved about it is that a lot of what we’ve done has been based around rugby rather than endless running.”
Despite Saturday’s impressive 33-0 score line against Rams at Castle Park, Olver says he was disappointed with aspects of the performance.
“We didn’t get past two or three phases at times and our handling was poor. Admittedly there was a blustery wind but it was the same for both sides.
“They came out and were very good at the start and played with a lot of confidence and it was against the run of play when we scored first and it probably flattered us that we led 14-0 at the interval.
“We played a bit better in the second half and scored three more tries but the main plus point was that we kept a clean sheet which is always something to be pleased about.”
He also says he is happy with how is half-partnership with scrum-half Tom James has gone in pre-season.
“Tom is a very good player and it’s good to play alongside him. He’s got good pace and he’s a great support player,” he said.
Looking ahead to the forthcoming campaign, Olver said: “There is a real determination in the camp to do much better than last season.
“We’ve made some good signings and we’ve got to be looking at a top four spot and also doing well in the Championship Cup.
“We start the season off with three group games and we are hoping to make a winning start against Hartpury at Castle Park.
“We play Hartpury down there in our first league game of the season and to beat them in the Cup would give us a psychological advantage going into that game.”