Knights make big changes for Nottingham cup trip

DONCASTER Knights will rely on loan signings and debutants when they run out at Meadow Lane for tonight’s British and Irish Cup clash with Nottingham.

Director of rugby Brett Davey has named five Sheffield Tigers players in his squad while handing first starts for Ben Toft and Michael Bateman.

Jamie Broadley, Peter Swatkins, Sam Cook, Alistair Thompson and Matthew Gidlow are the first Tigers players to be called upon as part of a working agreement with the Sheffield club for the B&I cup.

Davey told the Free Press: “We’ve got a relationship with Sheffield and we’ve got eight players available to us from them to use for the cup.

“It means the squad we have will not be stretched too much and it also gives those lads the chance to play at a high level.

“They’re all good players, all out to impress so it’s not a case of us being weakened.

“This competition is important because we’re all professionals and we want to win every game of rugby we play.

“Of course the league is the priority but we won’t be taking it easy tonight.”

Davey will be hoping his squad comes through tonight’s game unscathed after having a full compliment to call upon in the build up.

He said: “We’ve been able to pick a squad from all 28 players and that is a rarity at Doncaster.

“It is a great thing for us because the players go into this match knowing if they don’t perform then there’s a big chance they won’t be playing against London Scottish on Saturday.”

Knights squad to play Nottingham: Ben Toft, Jamie Broadley, Pete Swatkins, Michael Keating, Michael Bateman, Mike Whitehead, Lee Audis, Adam Kettle, Zack Farivarz, Latu Makaafi, Dom Parsons, Sam Cook, Royce Burke Flynn, Alistair Thompson, Andy Brown.

Replacements: Tom Davies, Matthew Gidlow, Andy Boyde, Michael Noone, David Bradford, Chris Hallam, David McIlwaine.