Newcastle Falcons v Doncaster Knights: Team news and build-up as Knights prepare to face Championship leaders
Doncaster Knights will be boosted by the return of second-rower Morgan Eames as they seek to become the first side to beat Newcastle Falcons this season when they resume their 2019-20 Championship campaign at Kingston Park on Friday night (8pm).
“We certainly couldn’t have had a tougher start to 2020 or a bigger contrast to our last game when we beat bottom side Yorkshire Carnegie just before Christmas,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.
“But we’ve got to go up there sometime so it might as well be this weekend and then hopefully we can kick on again against three terms more in our league in what are all winnable games.
“Obviously we are looking to put up a good performance up at Kingston Park and would love to come away with something on the night but I don’t think the result will have any bearing on the forthcoming games against Nottingham, Ampthill or London Scottish.
“We certainly aren’t looking any further than Newcastle this week because we don’t want a repeat of the 57-0 defeat when we played them up there in the Championship Cup earlier in the season.
“We played much better against them in the return and the game was much closer than the result would suggest and we could have scored four tries on the day.
“We took the game to them on that day and we’ll be looking to do the same on Friday. They’ve got the best defensive record in the league and if you just play the basic stuff they’ll smother you. You’ve got to be a bit cheeky.
“We’ll take heart from that performance and we’ll also be going up there having won our last game, but we know the size of the task facing us
“They have a side full of internationals and have a number of players on six-figure contracts which they are worth.
“If they bring their A-game they’ll be hard to beat no matter how well we play but if we aren’t at our best it could be another long night.”