Newcastle Falcons v Doncaster Knights: Team news and build-up to Championship Cup clash
Doncaster Knights will face an early test of their credentials in Sunday’s Championship Cup Pool 2 clash against Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park (3pm).
The relegated Premiership side, who hadn’t played any warm-up games, kicked off their campaign with a hard-earned 21-8 victory over Jersey last weekend.
“It was a good win for them but we’ll go up there in a confident mood after beating Hartpury 42-22 at Castle Park,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.
“We know it is going to be tough, and we’ll have to take any chances which come our way and hope that our defence can handle what they throw at us.
“But if we didn’t think we could beat them then there would be no point in going up there.
“Like all relegated Premiership sides they’ve got a much bigger budget than us and although they’ve lost some players they’ve still got the nucleus of last season’s squad including (former England fly-half) Toby Flood, and they’ve also made some good signings.
“We’ve struggled in the past on 3G pitches but since we’ve had one of our own at Castle Park to train on there is no excuse.
“It has proved a tremendous asset and came in really useful on Tuesday when we were still able to train well despite it raining heavily all day.”
Strong-running No 8 Rory Pitman, who needed hospital treatment for dislocated a finger he picked up in the Hartpury game, is set to play.
But full-back Cam Cowell, who joined the Knights from Newcastle, is still one of several players ruled out after suffering an ankle injury in training.
“Cam’s obviously disappointed to be missing the game but he has been boosted by the fact he could be back earlier than expected,” said Griffiths.