Doncaster Knights: Returnee Heaney eyes regular starting spot

Michael Heaney
Michael Heaney

Michael Heaney hopes to reap the benefits of regular rugby after returning to Doncaster Knights.

The 24-year-old scrum half spent six months at Castle Park in 2011/12 before joining Ulster for a second time.

But having struggled to hold down a regular place in his native Ireland, Heaney hopes another stint in the Championship will improve his game.

“I’ve basically come back to play a bit of rugby,” said Heaney.

“In three seasons I’ve only managed to accumulate about 30 caps for Ulster and I don’t think I’m going to get any better playing that little amount of rugby.

“Hopefully I can string a few games together here and help the team to progress and help myself to progress as well.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that playing rugby at the highest level won’t benefit you. For me it’s just a case of it becoming more of a regular thing rather than coming off the bench and playing 15 or 20 minutes every other week.

“To try and play regular rugby and get used to starting again will probably be more beneficial.”

Heaney and his Doncaster teammates begin their pre-season schedule at Hull RUFC on Saturday.

“We had a tough slog during the first five weeks which was mainly conditioning based,” he said. “Since we’ve come back after a week off we’ve got stuck into the rugby side of things.

“I think the boys have said in other interviews that we feel ready as a team for games, so we’re just ironing out the finer details now and getting ready for these pre-season games. We’re looking to take onto the pitch what we’ve practised.

“Obviously it’ll take a bit of time to get used to playing with either of the tens but as far as getting to know the moves and getting to know everyone it’s been good.

“We had a hit out with Loughborough Students this week and we’ve got another three pre-season games to get through. It’s a bit of ‘see what works’ time for us at the moment. We’ll take what works into the Championship.”