AT just 17 years old, scrum-half Ben White will become Doncaster Knights’ youngest player of the professional era when he lines up against London Welsh this afternoon.
The teenager, who does not turn 18 until next month, has already become the youngest Leicester Tigers player to feature in the Premiership having debuted versus Harlequins in October.
Back then, at 17 years and 151 days, he was also the second-youngest player to play in the Premiership behind only Leeds Tykes’ David Doherty, the winger who, now 29, coincidentally misses Yorkshire Carnegie’s final Championship game of the regular season at former club Jersey today due to illness.
White, on dual-registration at Castle Park, was on the bench for last week’s narrow win over Bedford Blues but remained unused.
However, with second place now secured, director of rugby Clive Griffiths has said he will come on at some point today.
It is no surprise, given they play Carnegie in their play-off semi-final first leg next Sunday, that Griffiths has named a much-changed squad for the trip south against the only side they have still yet to defeat in the Championship this term.
There is a timely return for goal-kicking winger Dougie Flockhart, who has been sidelined through injury since January’s victory over Rotherham Titans, centre Bevon Armitage makes only his sixth start of the season and Leicester youngster Ollie Bryant gets the No 10 shirt.
Prop WillGriff John, open-side Will Owen plus locks Tyler Hotson and Glen Young all also come in to give various pack members a rest ahead of that crucial tie at Headingley.
Carnegie, too, have understandably rung the changes with nine alterations to the squad that confirmed third place by beating Nottingham on Sunday.
Centre Andy Forsyth returns from injury and Harry Leonard is back at fly-half with Kevin Sinfield given the weekend off.
Prop Ben Hooper, second-row Tom Ryder, open-side Andy Saull and Doncaster-bound No 8 Jarad Williams get starting spots at Jersey as head coach Bryan Redpath largely keeps his powder dry.
Rotherham round off at Ealing Trailfinders hoping to climax with a win, having finished 10th, their worst placing in six years.
They make six changes, among them Ross Jones replacing full-back Will Goodwin (calf) and Luke Carter taking over from Andy Davies (ankle).
Head coach Justin Burnell said: “You always want to end with a win because it means you can head off into the summer in a positive frame of mind.”