Doncaster Knights prepare for Cummins exit + injury update from Castle Park

Clive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths

Doncaster Knights boss Clive Griffiths has started to look around for a new backs and skills coach to replace Francis Cummins who leaves Castle Park at the end of this week.

Cummins signed a new contract with Knights during the summer but was tempted by the role of assistant coach at Super League outfit Widnes Vikings.

“The timing isn’t great for us but at the end of the day he wants to go back to rugby league and I didn’t want to stand in his way,” said the Welshman.

Griffiths told The Star earlier this week that he had no irons in the fire but was confident that he had enough people at the club to cover the role in the short-term.

Knights could again be struggling for back-rowers in Saturday’s Championship game at Hartpury College.

With skipper Michael Hills suffering a groin injury on the eve of last weekend’s game against London Scottish and No 8 Aaron Carpenter ruled out with concussion, Griffiths had to switch Matt Challinor from the second-row and draft in Academy prospect Sam Jones.

“I’m hoping that Carpenter will be available but there are no guarantees at this stage,” said Grifiths. “Michael Hills has got to be a doubt and we’ll be monitoring his progress this week.

“We are doing it a bit tough with injuries at the moment when you consider who we’ve got backs such as Mat Clark, Paul Jarvis and Dougie Flockhart on the sidelines with long-term injuries.

“We’ve got Owen Evans in the forwards and Jack Ram’s return looks like being delayed because the team he is playing for in New Zealand are doing very well and it looks as though they are going to get into the play-offs.”

Better news for Griffiths is that utility-back Lloyd Hayes will be available for selection.