Doncaster Knights v Nottingham: Tom Hicks set to return to squad as Knights bid to bounce back from Ealing defeat

Tom Hicks
Tom Hicks

Doncaster Knights second-rower Tom Hicks is set to make his long-awaited return to action in Saturday’s Championship clash against Nottingham at Castle Park (2.30pm).

Hicks has not played since suffering a head injury in the home game against Jersey in early October and was only given the go-ahead to resume light training last month.

“I was hoping to get him a game (at a lower level club) last weekend but it didn’t work out but he’ll play on Saturday,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

Knights may also have the likes of hooker Ben Hunter and full-back Paul Jarvis back in contention as well as having in-form fly-half Sam Olver, who wasn’t eligible for the trip to Ealing as part of his loan deal, available again.

The club’s climb up the table, following three successive wins since the turn of the year, suffered a reverse following the Ealing defeat and they dropped two places to ninth.

Griffiths, who says the squad have worked hard in training on defence this week, is hopeful it was only a temporary setback.

“If we beat Nottingham, and other results go our way, then we’d be back in the top half of the table for the first time since early season and then it would be in our hands as to where we go from there,” he said.

Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting of the two sides and the Green & Whites’ second visit to Castle Park where they beat Knights 19-14 in their Championship Cup clash in December.

“We are in a much better place than we were that day and I’m confident that if the team play like they did during our purple patch at Ealing for 80 minutes, and hit the targets we’ve set them, then we will be fine,” said Griffiths.

“That’s not to say that we are taking Nottingham for granted. They’ve had a couple of disappointing results and will be desperate to get back to winning ways, just as we are.”

With favourable conditions forecast, Griffiths says supporters could be in for an entertaining afternoon.

“We’ll certainly be looking to ping the ball about,” he said.