Doncaster Knights have signed Tonga international Fotu Lokotui until the end of the season in a bid to ease their injury crisis.
The back-row featured at the recent World Cup, coming on as a replacement in their fixture with Argentina, but only arrived in South Yorkshire on Wednesday so is not in contention for this afternoon’s Championship Cup game at Jersey Reds.
Instead, Fotu will start training with the club next week with an eye on making his debut against Newcastle Falcons at Castle Park next Saturday.
The 27-year-old has won 14 caps and arrives from Counties Manakau in the Mitre 10 having also played with Singapore-based Asia Pacific Dragons and Samoa Kagifa.
Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths – who sees captain Michael Hills return from injury today – said: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Fotu to Castle Park.
“He’s a uncompromising, talented international back-row with a wealth of experience who’ll add to an already effective loose forward unit.
“With our current injury situation in the back-row, Fotu gives us the strength in depth that we need to get us back on track and through the demands of the season ahead.”
Doncaster have won just one of their last five games heading into the trip to Jersey but, as well as Hills, veteran lock Matt Challinor also returns today following a five-week ban.
Blindside Wian Conradie is set for his first start for the club as is No8 Sam Moore, who has joined on loan from Sale Sharks.
Charlie Foley makes his 50th appearance for the Knights while Griffiths also recalls winger Curtis Wilson and full-back Steve McColl to the starting XV. Doncaster have also signed scrum-half Gus Warr from Sale on a dual-registered deal and he is on the bench.
Knights beat Jersey 32-26 in the home Cup fixture between the sides and they sit second in the pool having also defeated Hartpury, their sole defeat coming against Newcastle.
However, the Reds did overcome Doncaster 27-0 when they met in the league at Stade Santander International last month.