Kick-off countdown

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WITH Doncaster Knights’ first pre-season friendly at home to Hull on Friday, August 5 fast approaching, the intensity in training is starting to crank up as players go head to head at scrums, lineouts, etc.

Things seem to be falling into place quite nicely and I feel pretty sure that our director of rugby, Brett Davey, and his fellow coaches are quite happy about the way things are going.

I went down on Saturday to watch a live scrummaging session and it looked hard! We seem to have a very close knit group of players and the team spirit is unbelievably high.

After the Hull game we have two more friendlies, away against Coventry on Friday, August 12 and then a trip to South Wales to play Welsh Premiership side Bedwas on Saturday, August 20.

The kick-off for this game has been put back until 4.30pm to avoid clashing with an international at the Millenium Stadium. We are planning to do the trip within the day so it will be a fairly tired bunch of lads who return to Castle Park in the early hours of Sunday morning.

This week we had a visit from a member of the RFU staff to show us how to use the new computerised analysis system now available to Championship clubs.

This is the same facility that has been available to the Premiership clubs previously and I like to think that it is an indication of how important the Championship is viewed by the RFU.

Tonight, the team and management are having our annual bonding session at one of the town’s prominent hostelries and another good night is in the offing.

After the meal all the newcomers have to tell a joke and sing a song after which the winner is awarded the coveted green jacket. As a change from past practice, Brett and the team have invited our two ground staff, Owen Evans and Lee Blagden. along and, rumour has it, Lee could be one of the favourites. We shall see!

Our Youth Section have been awarded the RFU Seal of Approval.

It recognises the effort and achievement of those clubs that reach and maintain required standards of safety, coaching and development of junior players and will be used to satisfy the Active Sports Club Registration Criteria for those clubs involved in delivery of the Active Sports Rugby Union Programme.

In addition, the criteria for the Sport England ‘Safe, Effective & Child Friendly Club’ mark is integrated within the Seal of Approval so that Doncaster RFC is now recognised by Sport England as a ‘Safe, Effective & Child Friendly Club’.