Doncaster Knights v Bristol: Knights get fitness boost ahead of B&I Cup clash

Centre Andy Bulumakau returns to the Doncaster Knights side for their penultimate B&I Cup Pool 2 game against Bristol at Castle Park tomorrow (2.30pm).

Friday, 12th January 2018, 5:00 am
Andy Bulumakau. Picture: Chris Etchells

Bulumakau has not played since breaking a bone in his hand in the defeat at Richmond back in early November.

Second-rower Tom Hicks also returns to the side after a long lay-off with a hamstring injury.

The return of the former Rotherham forward is timely with dual-registered Nick Civetta starting a three-match ban – reduced from six on appeal - following his controversial red card in the injury-time defeat against Yorkshire Carnegie last time out.

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Hooker Ben Hunter and full-back Paul Jarvis, who both missed the Carnegie defeat – which ended a run of three league and cup wins - due to injury, are set to return to action this weekend.

But fly-half Simon Humberstone, who will be replaced by Declan Cusack, will sit the game out after picking up a chest infection.

Knights go into tomorrow’s game lying second in their pool and fourth overall on points difference from Pool 1 leaders Bedford Blues.

With the top four receiving a home draw in the quarter-finals, Knights boss Clive Griffiths has made staying there a priority.

“That’s the target we’ve set ourselves,” said the Welshman.

“Depending on how other results go a win over Bristol could be good enough but we’ll have to assess the situation after the weekend.

“At this moment in time we are just focusing our attention on Bristol.”

Knights have already beaten Bristol at Ashton Gate in a game where the home side, in particular, made numerous changes to their regular Championship side.

“One of the problems we’ve faced this week in training is not knowing what sort of team Bristol will turn up with,” said Griffiths.