Doncaster Knights prop Colin Quigley is hoping to make more of an impact in the second half of the campaign than in the first.
The popular front-rower missed the start of the season due to a chest infection which was slow to clear and continued to affect him on his return to action until as recently as last month.
Young Welsh prop WillGriff John has taken advantage of the situation during Quigley’s absence and ended 2016 as the first choice for the No 3 shirt.
Quigley is full of praise for the way that John has played this season but is now ready to battle for his place in the starting line-up again.
He caught the eye in Friday’s spirited showing in the club’s B&I Cup clash against Munster A and hopes he has done enough to keep his place in the side to entertain Rotherham Titans in their final Pool 2 match this weekend.
“If I’m on the bench then I’ll be looking to make an impact when I come on,” he said.
Not only does Quigley live in Rotherham, as does Matt Challinor, but he also enjoyed two spells at Clifton Lane before moving to Castle Park, where he is in his third season.
“The games against Rotherham are the ones I always look forward to and it has been a bonus to have been paired together in the B&I Cup,” he said.
Although the competition has its critics, Quigley says it does serve to give players not currently in the starting XV the chance to impress the coaching staff.
Quigley, who formed part of one of the best front-rows in the Championship last season, admits that Saturday’s game is a classic ‘dead rubber’ but claims that will not affect the intensity.
“Whenever Doncaster play Rotherham it is always a battle whatever the competition - not least because we both want the bragging rights,” he said.
“They’ve made a lot of changes from last season and when everyone is fit they are a very good side and play in the right areas.
“They’ve got a very good set-piece, are well coached and they are a big set of boys who want to scrum and maul, so we’ll have to be on our game.
“We want to get back to winning ways after successive defeats ahead of our return to the Championship at Bedford on Saturday week.
“We are currently in third place but the league is so tight this season that a couple of defeats could see us in mid-table or lower, so we are going to be under a lot of pressure in all of our games.
“We’ve got some big games coming up but I always take it one game at a time and just focus on our next opponents. Hopefully if we do that, and don’t pick up injuries, we’ll finish in the top four again.”