Doncaster Knights: Rotherham old boy Will Owen sets his sights on derby double

Will Owen
Will Owen

Doncaster Knights centre Will Owen will be one of a number of visiting players to need no introduction to Clifton Lane supporters in Saturday’s Championship derby against Rotherham Titans.

Owen, who has captained the side recently in the absence of back-rower Michael Hills, was one of several Rotherham players to move to Castle Park in the summer.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Clifton Lane,” said the powerful three-quarter, who has quickly become a firm favourite with the Castle Park fans.

He admits he has felt a mixture of emotions in the build-up to what many people in the area are worried could be the last game between the two sides for some time given the current situation on and off the field at Clifton Lane.

“I had two good years at Rotherham and it’s sad to see them adrift at the foot of the table,” he said.

“It would be gutting to see them go down and I hope they can turn things around.

“Although I would never write them off they’ve got a steep hill to climb to stay in the Championship.

“Obviously if we beat them this weekend it will be another nail in their coffin but I’m a Doncaster player now and I’ve a job to do on Saturday.”

Owen will go into the game still carrying the knee injury which has dogged him in recent weeks.

“I’ve got a bit of a cartilage problem and every now and again my knee will swell up,” he said.

“I've got a provisional date of January 4 for keyhole surgery because we've got a blank weekend followed by two B&I Cup pool games.

“It's only a short turnaround after the operation so hopefully I won't be out for long.”

Depending on whether Hills will be fit to return to the side, Owen could lead the side out at Clifton Lane.

“I take a lot of pride captaining the side but we’ll have to see what happens,” he said.

“I felt I learned a lot captaining Rotherham last season and from the advice I received from (director of rugby) Justin Burnell as I was quite young to be captain of a team let alone a professional one.

“There are a lot of experienced players at Doncaster, including some who have held down the job in the past, so it’s nice that Clive (Griffiths) has shown confidence in me.”