Smith wings in for new role

RE-SIGNED AND RE-STYLED: Dan Smith has committed his future to the Knights but will switch to the wing
RE-SIGNED AND RE-STYLED: Dan Smith has committed his future to the Knights but will switch to the wing

DAN Smith may have pledged his future to the Knights but don’t expect to see him in the pack.

The second row has been handed a new role by director of rugby Brett Davey after re-signing – as a winger.

Davey has spotted something in the 27-year-old and is confident he can slot in perfectly on the wing.

Smith’s career looked to be over due to a back problem when he departed Castle Park two years ago.

But after spinal surgery, Smith rebuilt his career in National One with Barking and earned a move back to Doncaster in January.

However, he suffered an injury minutes into his second Knights debut and missed much of the season.

It appears Davey wishes to remove Smith from the rough and tumble of the forward ranks and allow him to use his pace in the wide areas.

Davey said: “I honestly believe we can convert him into a really good left winger.

“He has plenty of speed, good hand-eye co-ordination and is very strong – the game has changed a lot recently and big wingers are very dangerous.

“We already know he will be good defensively, plus he has a lot to offer going forward, the potential is massive.”

Also re-signing for the Knights are Adam Kettle, David Bradford and Andy Brown.

Like Smith, back row Kettle also saw his return to Castle Park hit by injury.

Kettle spent much of the first half of the season out with a serious knee injury but returned to make 13 appearances.

Davey believes 29-year-old Kettle is a ‘game changer’ who he can rely on every time he is sent out.

He said: “Not only is Adam a very good player, but he has Doncaster spirit and wants to be here.

“I’m very pleased to extend his stay and know he can change any game he plays in.

“He brings something a bit different, his skills are first class and he has brought a lot back to the team this season – but I think he still has more to give and is discovering his best form again.”

Flanker Bradford scored five tries in 12 appearances for the Knights after joining from Ulster Ravens last summer.

The 24-year-old will continue to combine his time with the Knights with studies at Sheffield Hallam University.

Loose head prop Brown will be battling with Tom Davies for the starting spot next season.

* Doncaster Knights Under 17s suffered a 42-24 defeat to Bishop’s Stortford in the National Plate final at Sixways.