DONCASTER Knights full-back David McIlwaine will miss the rest of the season following a shoulder operation late last week.
“David’s had a good first year and although he is still raw, and has made mistakes, we are still hoping that he stays for next season,” said Knights boss Brett Davey.
The end of McIlwaine’s campaign means that Knights will have to turn to winger Dougie Flockhart for their remaining four Championship games and promotion play-off campaign.
“He’s happy playing there,” said Davey. “The problem for Dougie is that he’s set the bar very high for himself by scoring 26 points playing there in the last game against Esher. People will be expecting that sort of performance all the time. What it does for Dougie playing at full-back is that it gives him more freedom to get more involved.
“He’s been unlucky this season and he could have had a lot more tries, He’s picked up a few more in recent weeks but had things been different he could probably have been our top try-scorer this season.
“He was excellent wearing the No 15 shirt against Esher and he’s got all the attributes to play there; it’s just a case of him learning the position.
“He is also giving us extra options with his goal-kicking.
“It allows Mike Whitehead and young Gareth McDonogh to just concentrate on their play-making role at fly-half.”