Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights: Team news and build-up ahead of Sunday's derby clash

Strong-running back-rower Ollie Stedman is set to return to action in Sunday’s Championship derby against Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley (3pm).

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:40 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:40 am
Ollie Stedman

Stedman, who lists Carnegie as one of his former clubs, proved his fitness when playing for Sale Jets on Monday night in a game watched by director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“He played well and scored a try before coming off at half-time,” said the Welshman.

Another former Carnegie forward hoping to be involved at the new-look Headingley complex is second-rower Matt Smith who has shown no adverse reaction since returning to training.

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Although Carnegie have yet to win a game this season Griffiths told The Star that there will be no room for any complacency within the Doncaster camp.

“It’s a massive game for both clubs and it’s a derby so anything can happen,” he warned. “They will note that we’ve lost our last five games and will be smelling blood.

“Despite their record they have players who can cause problems out wide with such as (former England wing) Tom Varndell and former Hull KR back Ryan Shaw.

“Head coach Joe Ford has played at the top level most of his career and was playing for Leicester last season. He’s got a good football brain and a good kicking game.

“But I’m confident that we can win the set-pieces and if we can do that then the rest of our game will fall into place and we’ll come away with a win – particularly if we put into practice the things we have worked on in training this week.

“We had a good following at Hartpury last weekend and we let them down which is something I personally never like doing.

“We’ve got the chance to repay them for their support this weekend and I hope we’ll take a good following to Leeds and that we’ll end the year on a high and give ourselves a bit more breathing space going into 2020.”