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Doncaster Knights: Tom James ready to take his chance to be first choice

Tom James is poised to take his chance to be Doncaster Knights' first choice scrum half
Tom James is poised to take his chance to be Doncaster Knights' first choice scrum half

Tom James is set to return to his former club Bedford later this month as Doncaster Knights first choice scrum-half.

James moved to Castle Park at the start of last season in search of regular first-team rugby.

And although he started in a number of games, and was on the bench in most of the others, he was still seen as No 2 to Michael Heaney.

But with Heaney joining Premiership side Worcester at the end of last season James was given first chance of making the No 9 shirt his own this season despite the arrival of Fiji international Henry Seniloli.

“I’m enjoying starting games,” said James.

“I’m one of three No 9s who are all pushing each other.

“It’s nice to have the trust of the coaching staff and be given a bit more responsibility but I’m not being complacent and I want to keep progressing and keep learning.

“I’ve played with three different half-back partners in the opening month of the season due to injuries, which hasn’t been ideal, because you want consistency.

“But we are fortunate in the fact that Charlie (Foley) and Kurt (Murtagh) are very good players and Cam (Cowell) did a good job standing in away at Richmond.

Following successive defeats, James says Knights are desperate to get back to winning ways against visiting Jersey Reds this weekend.

“They were a decent side last season and finished the season strongly,” he said.

“They’ve made a bit of a slow start this season (although they beat Yorkshire Carnegie last weekend to pick up their first win).

“Traditionally they are always strong up front and we’ve got to match them in that area of the game.

“We’ve focused more on ourselves so far this season and we feel that we are a really strong side and have a strong squad and on our day are capable of beating any team in the league.

“But we’re making silly errors and when you are playing the top sides, such as Ealing in our last home game, they are going to capitalise on it.”

“If we want to be up there challenging we have to make Castle Park a fortress and having lost against Ealing it’s very important that we beat Jersey on Saturday.

“Our home form let us down at times last season and we have to show more consistency this time around. We are capable of doing it; it’s just a case of getting back in the habit of winning.”