Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights: Coma-victim’s story inspiring the Knights

Lee Audis in training with Doncaster Knights four seasons ago.
Lee Audis in training with Doncaster Knights four seasons ago.
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Dougie Flockhart has revealed how a stirring speech from a former team-mate who nearly lost his life in a car crash, has instilled a defiant mentality in Doncaster Knights.

Lee Audis was playing at scrum-half for the Knights in November, 2011, when he was involved in a car crash.

Audis broke his skull and was in a coma for three months at Leeds General Infirmary. He spent a further 10 months at a brain-injury rehabilitation unit. where he learned to drink, eat and walk again, all of which defied the initial prognosis that he would never walk again.

When Doncaster went down to Audis’s home-town of Bristol to face the Premiership hopefuls earlier this season, the former player was invited to give a talk.

“It was very inspirational to all of us and great to see him doing so well,” said Flockhart, a former team-mate and good friend of Audis.

“His story is such a motivation to us, how he would never say die, and in some small way, that story rang true with us.

“The following week we went down to Cornish Pirates in the British and Irish Cup and scored three tries in the last 10 minutes to recover from 20 points down to win by a point.

“Lee’s story has stuck with us all season.”

The Knights could have waved the white flag after a nine-match winless run saw them drop to within three points of the Championship’s sole relegation position.

But last week’s huge win over county rivals Yorkshire Carnegie has justified a self-belief that never wavered as they head south again to face the Pirates tomorrow.

“Even when we were losing we never lost the team spirit,” said full-back Flockhart.

“The key for us is keeping our discpline and 15 men on the field.”