Doncaster Knights look to maintain 'promotion' push against 'well-drilled' Cornish Pirates

Doncaster Knights fans will get a better idea of the attacking lines the team will run under Joe Ford as the club’s head coach welcomes back some key players.

There has been an element of square pegs in round holes in the opening month of Ford’s tenure as the main man following the departure of director of rugby Steve Boden. But against long-time Championship rivals Cornish Pirates on Saturday, Knights welcome back Connor Edwards after a HIA at inside centre and Joe Margetts following a three-match ban outside him. Billy McBryde moves to full-back with Russell Bennett at fly-half.

Ford said: "We have a couple of lads in the backs who are returning and it’s nice to have them back in their correct positions. We’ve had three or four weeks now with lads playing out of position a little bit, but with a couple of centres back hopefully that will help our attack.”

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Ford has won two of his three games in charge, the latter coming after Sir Ian McGeechan was brought in as consultant director of rugby. "Things are developing nicely,” said Ford. “Geech has been here a couple of weeks now and it’s working well and the lads are enjoying it.”

Connor Edwards is back for Doncaster Knights (Picture: Tony Johnson)Connor Edwards is back for Doncaster Knights (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Connor Edwards is back for Doncaster Knights (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Off the pitch, Doncaster received confirmation this week that they have passed the Rugby Football Union’s minimum standards criteria to achieve promotion to the Premiership, the only second-tier club to have applied for it. They would still have to win the Championship and then a two-legged play-off with the team finishing bottom of the Premiership. Doncaster are currently fourth, while Castle Park visitors Pirates are second.

“They’re a good team, since we beat them in December they’ve lost just once to Ealing, which shows just the kind of form they’re in,” said Ford. "They’re very big, very well coached and always well-drilled."