Clive Griffiths has hailed next season’s Greene King IPA Championship fixture list as “mouthwatering” and just rewards for the hard work his Doncaster Knights players put in last term.
Doncaster booked an immediate return to the second tier by fending off Rosslyn Park and other challengers over a gruelling 30-game National One schedule.
Now back in the Championship, they kick off the 2014-15 campaign at home to Plymouth Albion on the weekend of September 5-7, before a trip to Jersey. A home game with promotion favourites Worcester followed by the first Yorkshire derby of the season at Leeds Carnegie – soon to be Yorkshire Carnegie – rounds off an intriguing opening chapter.
Griffiths said: “It’s a mouthwatering first month, especially when you think of where we’ve been over the last year. Instead of Worthing we travel to Jersey, and instead of Wharfedale we’re going to Leeds.
“No disrespect to those two teams but that’s what the boys worked hard for last season and this is the reward.
“You look at these fixtures and it’s what Doncaster has been used to over the last few years.”
The trip to Headingley at the end of September is one that catches the eye.
“We’ve got a good relationship with Leeds, they helped us out with players last season, but on the day we won’t be friends,” said Griffiths, who is confident his side will not be battling relegation again.
“We know what’s ahead of us. Our recruitment hasn’t finished, hopefully with the addition of four or five more players we’ll have that done in the next couple of weeks.”
Rotherham Titans play three of their opening four fixtures on the road, starting at London Scottish and followed by trips to Bedford and Jersey.
Carnegie begin at Cornish Pirates before hosting a Bristol outfit they are expected to challenge for promotion.
The two-legged play-off final is scheduled to conclude on the week commencing May 18.
Yorkshire derbies: Sep 26-28 – Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights; Nov 6-8 – Carnegie v Rotherham Titans; Jan 2-4 – Knights v Titans; Feb 6-8 – Knights v Carnegie; Feb 20-22 – Titans v Carnegie; Apr 10-12 – Titans v Knights. Full fixture schedule online at yorkshirepost.co.uk.