DONCASTER Knights’ exciting new signing Dante Mama has had a busier summer than most having been called up to represent Great Britain Student 7s in the World Student Games.
He started early pre-season training with the Castle Park club only a week after finishing with Leicester Tigers, where he was part of their Aviva Premiership final squad.
Mama will be travelling to Brive in France next week for the World Open Tournament after securing his spot in an England 7s training camp ten weeks ago.
The squad, which includes several England players, is training in Cardiff’s Centre of Excellence in preparation for the Games.
The students are coached by national 7s assistant coach and former Doncaster player Russell Earnshaw.
The former Tigers utility back signed for the Knights in May following the completion of his studies at Loughborough University, but is now relishing the prospect of the coming season with Doncaster as he concentrates fully on his rugby.
“Pre-season training has been hard work so far, but very effective and hopefully starting early will put us ahead of the game come the season,” he says.
“It’s been brilliant for me to concentrate fully on rugby, unlike before where I was studying full-time and flying between training for Tigers and Nottingham. I’ve been really impressed with everything here, especially Tom Luke’s sessions which have opened my eyes to a new way of passing and challenged me to keep improving certain aspects of my game.”
The former Zimbabwe U20s player has found the full-on rugby schedule with Doncaster and GB Students a challenge, especially without a summer break. But he believes it can only boost his all-round game.
“The very short break has mentally challenged me, but to achieve my targets it is necessary and the prospect of regular starting rugby is worth the hard graft,” he says.
“It is a great opportunity on the Sevens’ circuit and helps me develop a range of skills across different forms of the game. It will be my last student competition on the highest stage so I am really looking forward to it.
“Whilst away on Sevens I hope to carry on learning and bring more to my all-round game at Doncaster Knights.”