Doncaster RLFC v Coventry Bears: Team news and build-up to Dons’ League One curtain-raiser

Pete Green
Pete Green

Doncaster RLFC players are counting the minutes to the kick-off of the 2018 Betfred League One campaign.

The Dons take on Coventry Bears at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow (3pm) and assistant coach Peter Green says ‘the players can’t wait and are keen to get out there’.

“It’s been a long time since the last of our pre-season games - probably too long,” said Green. “However, it has given several players, including Russ Spiers and Kyle Kesik, who picked up injuries against Batley, time to recover.”

With the exception of play-maker Jordan Howden, who has trained well again this week and is just ‘two to three weeks’ away from being ready to play following hip surgery, the Dons have a full squad to choose from.

“Selection has been difficult and obviously those players not involved will be a bit disappointed to miss out on the opener but it’s a long season,” said Green.

“We don’t normally tell the players who is playing until later in the week – you are generally checking on one or two injuries for a start, but (head coach) Rich (Horne) announced the team on Monday night so we’ve had the chance to run through things during a couple of training sessions.”

The Dons beat the Bears in their opening league game last season, though they had played two cup games prior to that, and Green would settle for a similar victory.

“You don’t really know what to expect at this time of the season as most teams have changed from the previous campaign and they haven’t played any league games,” said Green.

“But we’ve managed to get footage of the friendly they played against Leeds Rhinos down there, so that has been useful, though there is only so much you can learn from a friendly.”