Whitehead returns for crucial stage of season

Impact: Mike Whitehead hopes to impress against London Welsh.
Impact: Mike Whitehead hopes to impress against London Welsh.

FLY-half Mike Whitehead made a timely return for Doncaster Knights in their 41-24 Championship win over Esher last weekend.

His return to fitness after three months on the sidelines with a broken hand, coincided with Tom Luke, who switched from centre to cover for him, being ruled out for the season following a shoulder operation earlier in the week.

“It is unfortunate that Tom is out injured because he’s a really good player and he can fill in at fly-half and he’s done very well there so it’s not like the team have suffered,” said Whitehead.

“I think we’ve only both been fit together for about three or four games, which is disappointing, but that is the way that things work out at times.

“I was pleased how it went considering that it was my first game of any description since the injury.

“The first ten minutes were a bit of a struggle, getting used to the pace and the way the lads call things.

“It was a bit scrappy at times, and there were plenty of things to work on this week, but I was fairly happy and would have taken that performance had someone offered me that before the game.

“Fitness-wise I wasn’t too bad because with it being my hand I was still able to run. But obviously the contact element takes a bit of getting used to again after a long lay-off.”

Having got a game under his belt, Whitehead hopes to make a bigger impact in tomorrow’s game away to fourth-placed London Welsh, who will be seeking to complete a double over Knights.

“I missed the home game through injury though I watched it and it was a disappointing result,” he said.

“But they’ve picked up some good results this season and they are always tough to beat down there.

“With us having booked our place in the play-offs the pressure is off and hopefully we can go down there and play some good rugby and come away with a result.”