Fixtures against Swansea and Ulster show how far Knights have progressed

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Doncaster Knights’ players return today from their well deserved break so rugby will kick in big style without detracting from the intensity that has been building up.

The start of the season is fast approaching and it is only just three weeks to Knights first pre-season friendly at home to Hull on Friday, August 5.

That is followed by a trip to Coventry the Friday after with the final game in South Wales on August 20 against Welsh Premiership side Bedwas.

Those of you keep in touch with rugby nationally through the media will like myself, have been thoroughly depressed with the shenanigans that went on at Twickenham last weekend.

At a time when the game in England needs guidance to take it forward to build on the momentum from this Autumn’s Rugby World Cup, this is the last thing we seem to be getting and, regrettably, there does not seem to be an end to the chaos in sight.

Fortunately for the RFU, clubs like ourselves and all of the others throughout the country will just get on with things as the build up to the season approaches.

This season sees an interesting new concept for the British and Irish Cup played between the 12 Championship sides, the top six Welsh Premiership club, three of the Irish provinces and three clubs from Scotland.

Under the new structure, the 24 clubs are divided into six groups of four with, for instance, the four sides in Group 1 playing the four sides in Group 2. We are in the same group as Rotherham Titans, Currie from Scotland and Pontypridd from Wales and we play against Nottingham and Ulster (away) and Leeds and Swansea (home).

Ulster is the game attracting the most interest in our squad as we have two players from that province as well as four from Leinster, the current Heineken cup holders.

It never ceases to amaze me when you see how far Doncaster have come in the past 20 seasons when legendary sides like Swansea and Ulster now appear on our fixture list.