Contenders for Doncaster Knights job as Steve Boden suddenly quits

Steve Boden has stunned Doncaster Knights by quitting as their director of rugby.

The 41-year-old, who joined the Castle Park outfit during the Covid summer of 2020 as their head coach, informed the club on Monday he would be standing down with immediate effect.

It is a bolt from the blue for a club that has been a beacon of stability in Yorkshire’s rugby union circles.

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Under Boden’s stewardship Doncaster finished third, second and sixth in the Championship, and were fourth this season.

Doncaster Knights director of rugby Steve Boden at a game last month (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Doncaster Knights director of rugby Steve Boden at a game last month (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Doncaster Knights director of rugby Steve Boden at a game last month (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

It is unclear at this time why Boden has stood down, but over the last 12 months the former Leeds Carnegie player has become increasingly vocal about his frustrations with the direction the game is heading, with the Rugby Football Union marginalising the clubs in the second-tier Championship and making it increasingly difficult for teams, like Doncaster, to try and win promotion to the Premiership.

A brief statement on the club’s website read: “Doncaster RFC and Steve Boden, director of rugby, have parted company with immediate effect, for Steve to pursue other opportunities.

"The Board of DRFC wish Steve the very best for the future.”

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The vacancy will be an attractive one, regardless of the fact that there is uncertainty about how the second tier will look next season and beyond as the RFU tries to realign the structure of the domestic game by inviting teams below the top flight to apply to be part of a ‘Premiership 2’.

Knights’ co-owner Steve Lloyd told The Yorkshire Post last month they were yet to decide whether they would be applying for it.

Joe Ford could step up from his current role of head coach at Doncaster, the position Boden was initially employed in until he was elevated to the more senior director of rugby role.

There is an outstanding external candidate down the road at Rotherham Titans in Harvey Biljon who won the Championship with Jersey Reds last season and has been working at the National Two North promotion-chasers since the autumn as a coaching consultant. It is understood he wants to stay at Rotherham until the end of next season.

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