Hartpury v Doncaster Knights: Soldier Lloyd Wheeldon aiming to keep Knights marching forwards

DONCASTER Knights have signed scrum-half Lloyd Wheeldon until the end of the season.

A serving soldier in the army, he arrives at Castle Park from Scottish club Heriot’s Rugby where he played in the Super 6 competition.

Wheeldon, who spent time on trial with Super League rugby league side Castleford Tigers earlier this year, is not involved in today’s Championship game at Hartpury.

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However, he is looking forward to making his mark with Steve Boden’s side after being given the opportunity for the remainder of 2021-22

“I’ve always been interested in being at Doncaster Knights as I know it’s a well-respected club,” he said.

“And, being a Northern lad, it speaks volumes to play for them.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a squad in the remainder of this season.”

Wheeldon, a Lance Corporal in 3 Para, has featured for played for the British Army’s Senior XV and it was his impressive performance against the Navy which alerted top-flight side Harlequins.

Ideal scenario: Knights coach Steve Boden moved quickly to secure Wheeldon after losing Gus Warr. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“We’ve been aware of Lloyd’s ability for some time now,” said Boden, who hopes to see his Doncaster side secure their second away win of the season today.

“He got some great experience down at Harlequins and a taste of a professional environment. With Gus Warr going back to Sale Sharks, it was a great fit for us. Lloyd is very competitive, which is great to have within the squad.”

Doncaster, who were without a game last weekend, are seeking a fourth successive win this afternoon.

Boden has made three changes to the starting XV who were victorious over Richmond at Castle Park earlier this month.

Conor Davidson debuts at loosehead in place of Conrad Cade while fellow newcomer Thom Smith replaces Sam Hudson on the flank.

Similarly, Ben Murphy could make his Knights debuts off the bench while hooker Will Holling is named for the first time since his short-term loan with Premiership side Wasps.

Cade, George Edgson, Guido Volpi and Kyle Evans are the players to drop out.

Hartpury, meanwhile, are in mid-table after winning three of their seven games so far.

Former Doncaster and Rotherham Titans centre Charlie Foley makes his first appearance for them after leaving the Castle Park club in the summer.

Hartpury also welcome back hooker Will Crane while James Scott starts in the second-row with Cameron Jordan back at his parent club Gloucester.

They are also able to call on England Under-20s No8 Nahum Merigan who recently made his Premiership debut for Bath,

Improving Gloucester flanker Josh Gray also earns his first start for Hartpury as they seek to end Knights’ winning surge.