RETURNED to his favoured full-back position, Doncaster Knights’ Paul Jarvis is expecting plenty of pressure coming his way from Bedford Blues this afternoon.
He was switched to the wing for last week’s 57-16 win at Richmond, allowing fellow No 15 Sean Scanlon to debut following his summer move from Rotherham.
Jarvis scored two tries but there is no doubting where the player – now in his fourth campaign at Castle Park – is most dangerous.
“I prefer playing full-back to playing on the wing but there is a lot of strength in competition now and the more game time everyone can get the better we’re going to be as a squad going forward which is essential in the Championship,” he said, as last season’s play-off finalists seek a third successive win. “We’re coming together as a team; getting new boys in meant it was always going to take a couple of games until we get used to playing with one another but I think we’re pretty much there now.
“The new lads have slotted in really well and there’s some really good competition for places, particularly out wide.”
It is no surprise, then, that Doncaster’s backline have amassed 11 tries in the last two fixtures alone, the other being an impressive win versus Rotherham on their last outing at Castle Park.
Bedford, who also reached the top-four last term, have endured a difficult start. They are still to pick up a win having lost 26-17 at home to Cornish Pirates, fallen 14-9 at Jersey and then pushing London Irish close 30-23.
Jarvis insisted: “It will be a good contest; we are coming off a couple good wins and we know they will be hurting after some losses. We’re still building as a team so it is going to be a strong test of how much progress we’ve made with Bedford here to us.”
Doncaster make three changes. Scanlon drops to the bench and Dougie Flockhart is recalled to replace Jarvis on the wing while centre Mat Clark returns following his head injury, taking Andy Bulumakau’s slot.
Lock Dave Nolan gets the nod over Matt Challinor who is named on the bench.