Doncaster RLFC: Cowling hopes to stay on at Dons

Danny Cowling
Danny Cowling

Despite the fact that Doncaster are virtually certain to be playing League One rugby next season, centre Danny Cowling hopes to remain at the club.

“I've not spoken to anyone about next season but if the club come up with a deal then I’d be happy to stay," said the 23-year-old centre.

Were that to happen, Cowling hopes he would find himself in familiar company when the Dons report back for pre-season training.

He certainly feels that it wouldn’t be in the club’s interest to over-react to what admittedly has been a hugely disappointing campaign to date.

“One of the reasons that the club had been so successful in the previous couple of years was that they kept the nucleus of players from the previous season and I hope that happens again,” he said.

“I know results haven't gone our way this season but we’ve got a good group of players and we all bounce off each other and I’m sure we could turn things around next year.”

Cowling rejoined the Dons, whom he played for on dual-registration during his time at Wakefield in 2013, after a season at Halifax.

He admits he never expected the Dons to finish eight points adrift at the foot of the table at the end of the regular season on his return.

“I kept in touch with a few of the team and I think finishing fourth spot last season probably exceeded their expectations, but nobody saw what has happened this season coming,” he said.

Cowling is looking to finish what he admits has been a mixed season for him personally on a high note in the new-look Shield competition which sees points carried forward from the regular season.

“We’re looking at it as a fresh start,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough start down there against London, not least because they are a full-time club. But we can take some heart from the fact that we went close to beating them at The Hive on the opening day of the season.

“They were hanging on to their 26-22 lead at the end. I certainly think it we played a few minutes more we would have won.”

Dons go into the game knowing that even victory at the Hive may not be enough to save them were other results to go against them over the weekend.

“We know that it is mathematically possible to stay up but we also know that it’s a very long shot,” said Cowling.

“We’ve probably got the toughest fixtures as a result of finishing bottom but there are games that can be won especially as some sides will lack some of their dual-registered players and loan players.

“We only had the odd one towards the back end so it won’t affect us as much as some of the other clubs in the Championship Shield.”