DONCASTER Knights will be making club history tonight when they play their ever first match in Northern Ireland.
Knights, who flew out this morning, take on Ulster’s second string in their penultimate British & Irish Cup pool game at Deramore Park.
Tonight’s game will be the Ravens’ first game in the competition this season and only their second match this season.
But Knights’ boss Brett Davey is not treating the home side, expected to be made up of a handful of seasoned campaigners and players on the fringes of the first team, lightly.
“It is not going to be easy; it is going to be tough,” he told The Star. “We’ve got to make it a physical game and we are not going to go there and chuck the ball about willy-nilly. We’ve got to go there with a purpose and that purpose is to win the game.
“If we win the game we will give ourselves a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.”
Knights fielded much-weakened sides in the two previous pool games against Nottingham and Leeds - both played in midweek - but plan to field a stronger side in tonight’s game with it being a weekend match.
“Obviously we’ll have one or two players coming in and they’ll have the chance to keep the jersey for our next Championship game at Rotherham on Saturday week,” said Davey.
“We’ve lost two of our last three games - including last weekend’s home game against London Welsh - and we’ve shown faith in selection with some players. But the door is open because we lost again on Saturday and there are a lot of positions up for grabs. So it’s up to the players now; if they want it is there for them.”
Both David McIlwaine and David Bradford are former Ulster players and defensive coach Neil Kelly used to coach the club, whose first-team are involved in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to going back there and playing against some of the players that I played with last season,” said McIllwaine.