Doncaster Knights v London Irish: Challinor and Hills staying for long term

Doncaster Knights's Matt Challinor.
Doncaster Knights's Matt Challinor.
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TWO of Doncaster Knights’ longest-serving players have handed their side a boost ahead of the home game against London Scottish today by signing new deals to secure their future at the club.

Matt Challinor (one year) and Michael Hills (two years) both put pen to paper this week, with Challinor saying that it was an easy decision.

“I’ve been at the club for nine years now,” he said “and, although I’m getting on a little bit, I still enjoy it and I still think I can add to the group on a Saturday.

“I used to come to the games when they first got into the Championship and it’s a club I always admired.

“I was over the moon when I got a chance to come here and I’m really proud with how it’s gone.

“We’ve had some ups and downs but in recent years we’ve been on the up and up.”

It has certainly been more up than down in the New Year, with the Knights looking to make it three wins in a row against London Scottish today, fresh from a convincing 27-6 victory over Nottingham a fortnight ago.

Their forward line is unchanged since that fixture, and the only changes among the backs are Tom James making his sixth start of the season and Lesley Klim’s return from a knee injury. Rugby is a squad game, and it was the feeling around this squad that Hills says was one of the reasons that convinced him to renew. “The group that Clive [Griffiths] brings together every year, with the core of the team that mainly stays together and the new boys that come in, we just have a great atmosphere,” said Hills, who made his hundredth appearance for the Knights last year.

Yorkshire Carnegie’s game at Cornish Pirates tomorrow has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.