New Doncaster RLFC boss Richard Horne wipes slate clean ahead of first game in charge

Richard Horne looks to go between Trent Waterhouse and Ben Harrison
Richard Horne looks to go between Trent Waterhouse and Ben Harrison

New Dons head coach Richard Horne, who takes charge of his first game this weekend, says that all of his charges will start with a clean slate.

“I know a fair bit about a lot of the players having watched a number of recent games,” he told The Star.

“Where I will be a bit in the dark, and will need to consult with Pete (Green) and Rhys (Lovegrove), is about the players who have been out injured for quite a while but who are on the verge of returning.”

Several players, including prop Feka Paleaaesina and full-back Tom Carr, are expected to be available for Sunday’s testing League One trip to second-placed Whitehaven.

Utility man Kieran Cross and second-rower Mike Kelly, who hasn’t played for a year following knee reconstruction surgery, are also expected to be available in the near future.

“There is going to be a lot of competition for places, especially in some positions, and some players are going to be disappointed to be left out,” said Horne.

“Performance will be key in both training and in games.

“If people in the team perform well then they’ll keep their spot. If not we’ll look at other players in the squad.”

Horne has told assistant coach Pete Green, who recently came out of retirement, that he is happy for him to continue playing.

“I’m happy for him to play for the rest of the season, after which we’ll discuss the future, because he has been playing really well and plays it tough with plenty of energy,” he said.

Unlikely to make many changes to a side unbeaten in their last five games, Horne will lack the services of dual-registered Hull FC winger Nick Rawsthorne who has joined Super League side Leigh on a month’s loan.