DONCASTER Knights boss Brett Davey believes that a trio of new signings this week have given the Castle Park club the strength in depth to mount a challenge for the Championship title.
Former player Dan Smith’s return, and the arrivals of promising youngsters Toby Berridge and Gareth Quinn-McDonogh, have provided the club with cover in key areas as they look to the crucial play-offs that will define their season. Smith was a fans’ favourite during a two-year spell at Castle Park which ended in 2010 following a career-threatening spinal injury.
Yet the talented 27 year-old, a product of the Bath Academy, has beaten the odds to battle back to full fitness and. has committed himself once again to Knights despite interest from other clubs: “It’s great to have Dan back - he’s got so much potential and he’s back to full fitness,” said Davey yesterday.
“We know what he’s capable of, which is a bonus as we’re not taking a punt on him. He’s strong in the line-out and has speed around the park.
“I think he is capable of playing Premiership rugby and he looks in better physical shape now than before his injury.”
Berridge (21), has joined the club from financially-troubled National One Cambridge and brings versatility to the back line as he is capable of playing full-back, centre or wing.
Fly-half Quinn-McDonogh is a product of Irish province side, Munster, and has honours with Ireland U20.
The 20 year-old will provide established cover as a successful goal kicker.
“Gareth will be able to cover for Tom Luke, who is out for the season, as he can also play in the centre,” said Davey. “ He’ll be looking to compete with Mike Whitehead too – he’s got a good CV and players of his calibre don’t become available often at short notice.
“Toby was signed just before the transfer deadline for the play-off squads. He’s very talented and I’ve liked the look of him in training. He has something different about him. All three of them are long-term prospects.”