BIG tom to the rescue

DONCASTER Knights Rugby Union Club have signed Tom Luke as cover for injured fly-half Cerith Rees.

Tuesday, 25th September 2007, 11:59 am

Rees suffered a hand injury in the club's opening National League One game at Coventry, leaving them down to just one recognised fly-half in the squad.

"Were Mark Woodow to have picked up a knock we would have been struggling," said Knights boss Lynn Howells last night.

Howells has been looking to bring an experienced fly-half for several weeks and is delighted to have landed the 24 year-old Luke

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"Tom, who can also play at centre, is a bigger build than both Cerith and Mark and will therefore give us different options," he said.

"I have worked with him before so I know what he can do. He has got a good kicking game and he is also a good goalkicker, which is something that we are short off.

"With us playing on Sunday this weekend I have given the players a couple days off to have a little break but they will be back tomorrow and Tom will also train with us.

"He won't come into contention for the Nottingham game because it will take all this week and next to get him used to the way that we play, but he could come into the frame for the home game against Pertemp Bees on Saturday week.

"Tom has come here for two months and it just depend on how things develop in that time. Basically it is up to him. He has been given an opportunity to show what he can do here and it is up to him to make a good fist of it."

Luke's family are from this area and his grandmother still lives in Doncaster.

His senior career began with Bristol before he moved to Italy to play under Howells at Leonessa.

He returned to England to join Bedford and during his time there played against the Knights two seasons ago.

Luke played for Bohemians in the All Irish League, the level immediately below provincial rugby, last season, and jumped at the chance of returning to National One and working with Howells once again.

"When the chance came up to get back to a club at the top of National One I couldn't resist it - especially when it was Lynn Howells who did the asking, and a club close to the family roots," he said.

"The arrangement is initially for two months and I am hopeful that I will get chances to show my worth and look at the options of extending my stay.

"We will see how things work out."