Unbeaten Doncaster Knights will not let Saracens faze them - Steve Boden
There will be no worries in the Doncaster Knights ranks when they see the Saracens side lining up against them tomorrow – head coach Steve Boden says some of his squad have not even heard of the glitterati on show.
England captain Owen Farrell has recovered from a calf problem in time to lead Sarries in the Greene King IPA Championship match at Castle Park – his first appearance for his club since the former European champions were relegated.
They also yesterday named his fellow England and British Lions team-mates Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly, Billy Vunipola, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola all in their starting XV.
But Doncaster – second in the table with five wins from five games – insist there is no pressure on them with head coach Steve Boden admitting some players will not even know what all the fuss is about as the South Yorkshire club faces the biggest challenge in its history.
“It is quite funny,” he said, when asked about what his final message will be tomorrow.
“As much as it is a massive game and a huge opposition, we have a lot of players who really escape from rugby when they’re not playing.
“Our winger Kyle Evans probably doesn’t know who half of these Saracens players are!
“I’ll be saying the same as I did before Ampthill on the first day: every game, it’s about making sure, as players and coaches, we’ve done everything we possibly can during the week to go out on a weekend and earn each others’ respect.
“If we win off the back of that, then great, but we wanted to bring the doggedness back into the Doncaster shirt which has been missing for a few years, and we have done that.
“The other thing is simple: enjoy it.”
Farrell recovered from the concussion sustained at the end of the Six Nations only to then suffer the strain in training, extending his spell on the sidelines.
Wales centre Nick Tompkins also makes his first appearance for third-placed Saracens since February last year.
Mark McCall’s side have not lost since a shock opening day defeat at Cornish Pirates.