Doncaster Knights v Newport-Gwent: Knights hoping to prove tough obstacle for Dragons

Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.
Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.
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CLIVE GRIFFITHS knows his Doncaster Knights side’s impressive seven-game unbeaten run will come under severe threat when a Newport Gwent Dragons Premiership Select XV arrive at Castle Park this afternoon.

Doncaster may be flying high in the Championship, holding second place at the halfway point, but their Welsh visitors are at the top of another table – the British & Irish Cup’s Pool Five.

“They are very keen in this competition for sure,” said director of rugby Griffiths, about his fellow Welshmen.

“We’ve seen already they had a good win in Connacht and they have taken Jersey, too. That was a last-minute win, understandably, but it was still a win nevertheless and they are top of the league.

“I’ve been speaking to people in that neck of the woods and they are dead keen to progress to the latter stages of this competition and we stand in their way.

“We’re a big obstacle they hit on Saturday.”

Doncaster have a win and a draw so far in the B&I Cup so last season’s beaten finalists so realise they will replace Newport Gwent in pole position if they do prosper themselves this afternoon.

They are in good nick following last week’s gutsy 18-13 Championship victory at Bedford Blues.

Griffiths rated that one of the best wins of his Doncaster career as his side battled a strong wind and came from 13-3 down at half-time to show their new-found ability to dig their way out of all sorts of situations.

He has made plenty of changes for today’s game with priorities, understandably, lying with their league campaign.

Sam Edgerley replaces Michael Heaney and Andy Bulumakau starts in midfield while, up front, Rich List captains the side with Vili Veikoso replacing Ben Hunter in the front row.

Tyler Hotson and Glen Young start and lock and Leicester loanee Will Owen replaces Michael Hills at openside flanker with Latu Makaafi starting at blindside and Alex Shaw at No 8.