Doncaster Knights: Former Dons coach Paul Cooke ‘could switch codes’

Paul Cooke (left) could turn out for the Knights this season.
Paul Cooke (left) could turn out for the Knights this season.

Former Dons’ player-coach Paul Cooke could become the latest high profile rugby league player to switch codes.

The 34-year-old stand-off, currently plying his trade with Championship side Featherstone Rovers, could turn out for Doncaster Knights in the 2015/16 campaign.

Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths, who starred in both codes during his distinguished playing career, expressed an interest in Cooke turning out for the Knights when he first joined the club’s coaching staff.

But with Cooke, who later took over from Tony Miller as player-coach at the Dons, regarded as being too valuable a player to run the risk of him getting injured, the approach was turned down by the Keepmoat Stadium club.

“It’s something for Paul to decide down the track, after the end of the rugby league season,” said Griffiths.

“But if Paul does join us as a player, and it would be my decision to put him on the playing list, then he’d be in the same boat as forwards’ coach Glen Kenworthy.

“We’d call upon him if and when we felt we needed him, either off the bench or as cover for injuries at fly-half or inside centre.

“I don’t think it would take him long to fit in because of the grounding that he’s had.

“He’s been here two years and he is now starting to talk rugby union terminology and you can see that he is more comfortable with it.”

Knights will again lack club captain Matt Challinor (calf) in tomorrow’s pre-season game against Sedgley Park at Castle Park (2.30pm).

“We are not taking a risk with anyone carrying an injury,” said Griffiths.