Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights: Big guns back for ‘high noon’ derby clash

Michael Hills
Michael Hills

Doncaster Knights welcome back several big guns for their Championship Cup ‘High Noon’ shootout against Yorkshire Carnegie at Hull Ionions RFC.

Skipper Michael Hills returns to the side after missing the win at Nottingham.

Paul Jarvis, who started on the bench at Lady Bay, also returns to the starting line-up.

Young back-rower Sam Jones features in the squad for the first time since suffering a concussion injury in the final warm-up game.

But Knights, who also lack Nick Civetta who is away on international duty with the USA team, are still without fellow second-rower Tom Hicks.

With Charlie Foley ruled out with a knee injury sustained in the Nottingham game, Kurt Morath still away on international duty and Brett Connon recalled by Newcastle, Cameron Cowell is set to don the No 10 shirt.

Having seen Newcastle also recall scrum-half Ruaridh Dawson this week, young half-backs Sam Pocklington and Seth Adams are set to be added to the squad and could feature on the bench.

Director of rugby Clive Griffiths said: “It will be strange not playing Carnegie at Headingley.

“We’ve played at Hull before when we were both in National League One a few years ago and I remember it being a decent pitch, though it has a slope.”

Knights go into the game leading the four-strong group with Carnegie boasting a 50 per cent record from their two games.

“We’ve made a great start and I do like cup competitions having been brought up on them in Wales since I was a youngster,” said Griffiths.

“We always go out to give it our best shot as was shown in our record in the B&I Cup where we nearly always did well.

“We went to watch Carnegie when they beat Nottingham, who only had about four or five regulars, in their opening cup game.

“Even though they lost at Coventry last weekend they are getting better after a poor start to their league campaign during which they’ve often been without a lot of players due to illness and injury.

“They are starting to get players back and they are also bringing in new ones all the time so they are going to be a lot stronger in the second half of the season.

“I think that we are in a false place in the table and the same applies to them and we are not treating them lightly.”

Knights have signed 31-year-old hooker Mike Meyhew for the season following a collar-bone injury to Dave Nelson which could sideline him for around three months if he needs an operation.

“Mike’s been playing in Auckland but he’s played for Carnegie in the past so he knows all about the Championship,” said Griffiths. “He’s also a tough cookie.”