Nottingham v Doncaster Knights: Team news and build-up ahead of Friday night’s Championship clash

Michael Hills
Michael Hills

Doncaster Knights could have skipper Michael Hills back in action in tomorrow’s Championship derby against Nottingham at Lady Bay (7.45pm).

The back-rower, whose knee injury earlier this month didn’t prove as serious as first thought, resumed training this week and could come into contention.

“It will be good to have Michael available again, if not Friday then the home game against Jersey next weekend, because he provides a good link between the forwards and the backs,” said head coach Glen Kenworthy.

“We’ve particularly missed him at training because he is very vocal.”

Former Nottingham second-rower Morgan Eames (bruised clavicle), prop Colin Quigley (dead leg) and full-back Paul Jarvis (calf) are all due to face late fitness tests ahead of the squad being named.

“They all want to play, especially Morgan, but we’ll have to see how they are when the players report back,” said Kenworthy.

Although Knights have enjoyed the upper hand over their local rivals in recent seasons, Kenworthy is expecting a tough encounter.

“Nottingham (who recorded their first ever win at Headingley at the weekend) are flying high and they had a great win on Sunday over Yorkshire Carnegie,” he said.

“But they’ve had a five-day turnaround against our six and that’s not easy. We’ve been a bit more restricted than usual in what we’ve been able to do in the build-up and they’ll be the same.

“We’ve identified what we feel are their strengths and weaknesses and we can tweak things a little bit if we feel we need to do so to counteract how they play but if everyone is fit there won’t be many changes.”

Knights will go into the game on the back of a second defeat in four games and Kenworthy says there was some straight talking on Monday as the coaching staff highlighted the various errors, particularly in defence, in the Ealing game.

“It’s a crucial game on Friday and one that we need to win,” said Kenworthy.

“It’s one of three games before we entertain (favourites) London Irish and we will be hoping to win at least two of them if not all three.”