Knights ready for Welsh battle in cup

DONCASTER Knights are off to West Wales this weekend to play Llandovery, which is a small town north west of Swansea in Carmarthenshire, in a British and Irish Cup Pool D clash.

They play in the Welsh Premiership and the only thing we really know about them is that Cerith Rees, one of our former fly-halves, now plays for them.

They travelled to South Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago and had a comfortable victory over Rotherham Titans so they will certainly be hard opponents to whom we must show respect.

However, we have a video of that game so I am sure that our coaches and players will have been doing their homework on them this week. The following Saturday the Knights are at home in the British & Irish Cup to another Welsh side Pontypridd.

We do know a lot about them for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, we played them away twice last season , once in a pre-season friendly which we drew, and then in the cup which we won.

Secondly, and more importantly, Lynn Howells, our Director of Rugby, used to be their head coach and Brett Davey, our assistant coach, used to be their full-back.

There will be some bragging rights resting on the result!

During the past few days Knights have announced that Mike Catt, the former England and British Lions centre, and now assistant coach at London Irish, will be the speaker at their Sportsmen's Dinner to be held at Castle Park on Wednesday, February 23.

Mike comes courtesy of Yorkshire Bank for whom he has a role as one of their "ambassadors".

He was a wonderfully entertaining and innovative player in his prime and we are sure that he will have carried forward those attributes into his after dinner speaking.

Tickets for the event, corporate or individual, can be obtained by ringing Chris at Castle Park on 01302 831388.

Those of you who follow sport in the national press will have been aware of an upheaval at the RFU following the report of John Steele, who was appointed as their new CEO back in the summer.

Without being privy to all the detail, the proposals he has made seem to make a lot of sense.

Indeed, the need for the streamlining of the HQ structure, and for cost cutting, has long been touted within the game.

What really concerns us is that where Steele's proposals leaves the Championship. A small working group from the Championship clubs made representations to the RFU about the need for additional funding if the second level of rugby in England, which the Knights are in, was to operate at a full time level to support the development of younger English qualified players and English rugby generally.

The RFU are due to report back to our working group next Wednesday.

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