Doncaster RLFC: Frankie Mariano set for season bow against London Skolars
Doncaster RLFC second-rower Frankie Mariano is set to make his first appearance of the season in Sunday’s League One clash against London Skolars at the Keepmoat (3pm).
The former Super League star is expected to be named in the club’s 19-man squad after tonight’s training session and is likely to start on the bench.
“It will be good to have Frankie back because he has a lot of qualities which will add to the side during the run-in,” said Dons No 2 Pete Green.
“He’s a big man and awkward to stop and he’s got a good football brain and I think he will link up well with Rangi Chase.
“We had hoped to have him back earlier but we didn’t know the extent of his shoulder injury until the surgeon went in.
“He’s trained hard but he’s obviously not match fit and we’ll be looking to give him more minutes each week and hopefully he’ll be firing on all cylinders by the time we reach the play-offs.”
Leading try-scorer Watson Boas returns to the squad after several weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and is expected to start on the bench before taking over from hooker Kyle Kesik.
Stand-off/full-back Jordan Howden will also come into contention on his return to fitness following a rib injury picked up in the 1895 Cup defeat against Sheffield Eagles.
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His return to fitness will be welcomed by the club’s coaching staff following the five-match suspension handed out to young dual-registered full-back Connor Wynne following an incident playing for Hull FC’s second string.
“Connor’s probably finished as far as we are concerned this season which is a blow because he has been playing well,” said Green.
Looking ahead to the game against a London side which have dropped from second to seventh following six successive defeats, Green said: “I don’t think anyone expected them to be second in mid-season and even though they beat us 22-6 down there in May I couldn’t see how they’d won so many games based on their performance that day.
“I think a lot of teams, including ourselves, started the season slowly but have since raised their game which it would appear London haven’t been able to do to the same extent.
“They could now miss out on the play-offs so they’ll be throwing everything at us on Sunday.
“We certainly can’t afford to take them for granted after they run Oldham close last week, but we’ve been steadily building up momentum and we’ve trained well this week.”