Preview: Doncaster RLFC v Hull FC - Thornton relishing friendly opener

Dons boss Gary Thornton will be keeping a close eye on both sides in the club's opening pre-season friendly against Super League outfit Hull FC at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 16th January 2016, 5:00 am
Gary Thornton
Gary Thornton

Thornton, who has rung the changes following last season’s relegation from the Championship in a bid to bounce back at the first attempt, will primarily be focusing on his own players.

He is excited about seeing his new-look team in action for the first time and has high hopes for the new half-back combination of young Australian scrum-half Jordie Hedges and former Castleford Tigers prospect Jordan Howden.

“We’ve also got a strong pack and some pacy, exciting backs,” he said.

But due to the fact that the club will again be operating a dual-registration agreement with the Black and Whites, Thornton will also use the game to run the rule over Hull’s promising youngsters

“Given the strength of Hull’s squad, the bulk of the players involved tomorrow could be available to us on dual-registration,” said Thornton.

“Having said that, I want to give our own players an opportunity before we go down that route.”

Thornton will be without a handful of his new signings due to injuries, including Makali Aizue.

He told The Star: “I’m not going to risk any player in the three warm-up games.”

With some people questioning the wisdom of playing such as Hull and Leeds, given the need to restore confidence, Thornton said: “I can see where they are coming from but there is obviously the commercial aspect to take into consideration and hopefully my players will benefit from playing against players from both teams.”