Doncaster Knights: Team news and build-up ahead of cup clash with Newcastle Falcons
Tongan international back-rower Fotu Lokotui is expected to make his debut for Doncaster Knights in Saturday’s testing Championship Cup Pool 2 clash with Newcastle Falcons at Castle Park (2.30pm).
No 8 Rory Pitman, who was in fine form at the start of the season prior to picking up an injury, is also expected to feature after proving his fitness in training this week after his lengthy lay-off.
Scrum-half Tom James has recovered from the illness which ruled him out of last weekend’s defeat at Jersey and will come back into contention as will former Newcastle full-back Cam Cowell, who wasn’t considered for the game due to a family bereavement.
But second-rower Morgan Eames will sit out the game having picked up a knock.
Relegated Falcons are unbeaten in all competitions this season and director of rugby Clive Griffiths admits that Knights face a tough task.
“Everyone knows that they shouldn’t be playing at this level with the quality players they have throughout the side and they will be looking to bounce straight back to the Premiership,” he said.
“They have posted a few big scores, including a 57-0 win over us up at Kingston Park in the Championship Cup, but both London Scottish and Bedford have run them close though on both occasions the heavy conditions were a great leveller
“Although that will give us hope we’ll not have any such advantage playing on our pitch at Castle Park.
“We know that we didn’t do ourselves justice up there and the talk in training this week has all been about showing Newcastle that we are a better side than we looked on the day.
“As I say, we know the size of the task facing us because Newcastle don’t have any weaknesses at this level and the main threat to their unbeaten record going forward will probably be complacency.
“We know we need to try and take something from the game if we are to keep our hopes of finishing second alive and we can take heart from the way we’ve played in the last two league and cup games.
“We could have been more clinical in both games but you couldn’t fault the desire or commitment.”