Doncaster RLFC v Newcastle Thunder: Team news and build-up to tonight’s Challenge Cup tie

Ryan Boyle. Photo: Rob Terrace
Ryan Boyle. Photo: Rob Terrace

Doncaster RLFC will lack skipper Ryan Boyle in tonight’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Newcastle Thunder at the Keepmoat Stadium (8pm).

The prop forward picked up a hamstring injury in last weekend’s 44-6 league win over Whitehaven and could face several weeks on the sidelines.

Leading try-scorer Jason Tali is rated ’50-50’ after Wednesday night’s training session with the recurrence of a back problem.

Dual-registered Hull FC duo Jack Downs and Jez Litten, who both featured at the weekend, have not been made available for tonight’s game to avoid been cup-tied, but wing Jack Sanderson is in the squad.

“The players are in good spirits after beating Whitehaven, though we have not let ourselves get carried away because we know it wasn’t the same team as last season,” said Dons No 2 Pete Green.

“We’ve only done two light sessions with it being a quick turnaround and the lads are looking forward to the game and playing under the lights which you don’t do much at this level these days.”

Tonight’s game is the first of back-to-back encounters between the two sides.

“If we had to win one then we’d take the league game at Kingston Park and I’m sure they’d say the same, but we are targeting both games,” said Green.

“We know we’ll have to play well to do that because Newcastle showed in the second half of last season that they are a much-improved side and they’ve also started this season with a couple of big wins despite losing several key players.

“Both sides like to throw the ball about it should be another entertaining game.”