There has not been much to cheer Dons’ fans during the opening month of the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship.
Four defeats in as many games sees the Keepmoat Stadium club, who finished fourth last season, lying second bottom of the table.
But the news that young scrum-half prospect Richard Wilkinson could be set to return in Sunday’s game at Hunslet Hawks has helped raise the spirits of the Dons’ faithful following the 54-18 defeat by leaders Leigh at the weekend.
Although one man never makes a team – and the Dons are not short of match-winners in their squad – there can be no argument that Wilkinson has been badly missed this season.
His half-back partnership with player-coach Paul Cooke was one of the major factors in the club’s success last year and both men are hoping that they can carry on from where they left off.
Wilkinson, who watched Leigh scrum-half Ryan Brierley deliver a master class in last weekend’s game, featured in the first two warm-up games but has not played since due to a second cartilage operation on the knee he had surgery on last summer.
Providing he suffers no reaction to several tough sessions this week he is likely to feature in the game at the South Leeds Stadium.
“I’ve missed playing and I can’t wait to get back out there,” he said.
“We’ve chopped and changed at half-back this year, which isn’t ideal, and at times we’ve looked as though we don’t know what we are doing.
“Hopefully Paul will be fit to play on Sunday and we’ll have a lot more direction.
“I’m confident that we can go there and pick up our first win of the season but we know that it won’t be easy.
“I didn’t play in the game but they beat us easily at the Keepmoat in pre-season and they looked a very good side on the day,
“They looked to have recruited well after winning promotion and half-back Andy Kain, in particular, looks to be a good signing. He’s a good organiser.
“But it’s a game we can win and hopefully we can do that and start climbing the table.
“We’re not happy with our league form but we’ve had a tough start playing the top two last season in our first four games.”
Doncaster and bottom club Whitehaven are still to get off the mark in this season’s Championship. Hunslet have recorded one win.