Hills leads the changes for Doncaster Knights as Yorkshire Carnegie seek lift

DONCASTER KNIGHTS welcome back influential captain Michael Hills to the starting line-up for today's Championship clash with Jersey Reds.

Doncaster's Michael Hills and Tyson Lewis. Picture Scott Merrylees
Doncaster's Michael Hills and Tyson Lewis. Picture Scott Merrylees

The South Yorkshire club are keen on setting right some wrongs after last week’s poor loss at Nottingham.

They make six changes with winger Dougie Flockhart making his first start of the season and front-row stalwarts Ben Hunter and Colin Quigley also returning.

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Doncaster, meanwhile, have signed Samoa A tighthead prop Matt Talaese who will be looking to make his debut in the coming weeks.

The 28-year-old joins from New Zealand side Wellsford RFC but played for French Division Two side RC Massy Essonne until May this year.

He has also spent three seasons at Northland in New Zealand.

Elsewhere, centre Andy Forsyth will play as an emergency fly-half for “crisis-hit” Yorkshire Carnegie tomorrow with regular No 10 Brendan Cope having already been ruled out for the season.

Chris Stirling’s injury-hit side are bottom of the Championship having won just one of their opening five games so far.

The visit of Bedford Blues will not make life any easier for a squad lacking in not only numbers but confidence.

Cope – who only arrived in the summer – suffered an ACL injury in last Friday’s sobering defeat at his former club Jersey who were bottom themselves at the time.

Ex-Leicester Tigers centre Forsyth, 28, will take on the fly-half role which was a problem position for much of last term, too.

“The hits keep coming week on week and the injuries are mounting up,” admitted Stirling, who has endured a difficult start to his own tenure at Emerald Headingley. “They tend to be happening to key players as well but that’s beyond our control and we have to deal with it.

“It will be season-ending for Brendan unfortunately as he’ll have an operation that will keep him out for nine months.

“We won’t put any pressure on him we’ll work hard with his rehab and basically get him right for next season.

“The disappointing thing for Brendan is he was just starting to really show the development we were putting into him; he was starting to look really threatening on attack.”