Former Rotherham captain Owen relishing chance to lead Doncaster in Cup outings

Will Owen.
Will Owen.
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He is still only 24 but Will Owen will follow up captaining Rotherham Titans by leading their South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Knights today.

The centre, who switched clubs in the summer, takes charge of Clive Griffiths’s side in the first of back-to-back British and Irish Cup clashes against Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV.

With regular captain Michael Hills rested at Castle Park, Owen takes on the role he last held at Clifton Lane last term.

“It’s an honour to do it and it’s nice to have the trust of Griff’,” he said.

“I’ll take it in my stride. I learned quite a lot last year when doing it with Rotherham and hopefully I can transfer that across.

“I’m enjoying my game with Doncaster; it’s nice to be in a team with a bit more experience around and they’ve made me really welcome since I joined.”

Owen is also relishing the chance to spark up a partnership with Mat Clark, the classy centre who made his return from long-term injury last week.

“That was our first game together against Bristol,” said Owen.

“I’ve obviously played against him a few times and he is a really strong runner and also talks well too which helps.

“Playing with him again on Saturday hopefully we’ll get to form a bit of an understanding,” he added.

Griffiths makes minimal changes with the most notable seeing Owen’s fellow ex-Rotherham centre Lloyd Hayes find himself in the unfamiliar role of full-back after Cameron Cowell returned to Newcastle Falcons.

Meanwhile, Rotherham hit more trouble ahead of their B&I Cup game against Ealing Trailfinders at Clifton Lane today.

Andy Key’s side, who have yet to win in the Championship, lost hooker Luke Cole to a hip injury in their final training session yesterday.

Adam Peters has been drafted onto the bench as his replacement as Titans desperately look for some form to eventually help kick-start their woeful league campaign later this month.

Also, Edinburgh have signed their prop Matt Shields until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old tighthead moved to Clifton Lane from Harlequins in the summer.

He arrives in Edinburgh as a replacement for Italy international Michele Rizzo, who has been recalled from a loan spell by Leicester.

“I’m delighted to be joining Edinburgh at what is a very exciting time for the club,” said Shields.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Rotherham for their support and the opportunities that I’ve been given this season.”

Titans say the player chose to “trigger” a release clause in his contract enabling him to move north of the border.