CENTRE Tom Luke is one of three former players in the new-look Doncaster Knights’ 2011-12 Championship squad.
Scarborough-born Luke, who spent the 2008-09 season at Castle Park, needed little persuasion from new Knights boss Brett Davey to return to his home county.
“I’m very happy to be back at the club,” he told The Star.
“I’d spent the last two years at Cornish Pirates and Brett was coach down there before he came to Doncaster and having worked with him before was a contributing factor to me coming here because I’d enjoyed his style of coaching. Like me, he played centre but he also played full-back so he understands the game having watched it from the back and he appreciates the players’ point of view, which is a big thing.
“He’s not been out of the game too long either, which helps because the game moves on quickly.
“Brett looks to have brought in a good bunch of boys. I think that it is a good thing that he has brought in players that he knows because he wouldn’t have brought in anyone that he didn’t think could play at this level.
“He also knows their character, which is important.
“We’ve only got a small squad so we all need to be pitching in together.”
Although one or two of the Knights squad looked to have a few pounds in weight to shed following their summer break when reporting back for pre-season training on Tuesday, not so Luke,
He didn’t play his last game - the second leg of the Championship Promotion play-offs against Worcester - until mid-May.
“Even though Pirates wouldn’t have been able to go up because their ground didn’t meet the necessary criteria, we still wanted to win and had we played another five minutes in the second-leg we’d have won it.
“I played in both games and it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Pirates will again be up there next season, but I don’t think relegated Leeds will be a strong as Worcester last season. Their budget is nowhere as big.”