Knights ring the changes as they aim to turn the table

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Bottom of the Championship versus the team placed third in the league might be expected to be one of the easier scores to predict this weekend.

But hearteningly for Doncaster Knights, Bedford Blues have not got the greatest of recent histories in South Yorkshire.

They were held to a high-scoring draw at Rotherham earlier this season and fell foul of one of the most complete Doncaster performances of last season when the Knights overcame the odds to beat them 33-12 at Castle Park.

Fresh from their own chastening defeat at Clifton Lane in last week’s derby, Doncaster are in 
urgent need of a positive result after dropping to the foot of the Championship table.

Bedford go into tonight’s game on the back of a narrow defeat to runaway leaders Newcastle.

Knights winger and conditioning coach Dougie Flockhart said: “Bedford like to play an open game and the fact that they can 
attack from anywhere on the pitch makes them a difficult side to play against.

“But we always seem to play well against them and we drew down there last season and beat them in the return at Castle Park.”

Director of rugby Brett Davey has made four changes to the side that lost at Rotherham.

Will Simpson is the only change in the backs, returning at inside centre. Prop Tomas Francis makes his first competitive start of the season while David Bradford is selected at openside flanker in place of Jethro Rawling. Adam Kettle has recovered from injury to take his starting place.

Leeds Carnegie’s second ‘on the road’ home game against Moseley on Sunday marks a return to Wharfedale for their back-row forward Rob Baldwin.

Baldwin captained Wharfedale at the start of the season and was one of the club’s mainstays for a number of years.

The 27-year-old got his chance to sample professional rugby with Leeds just a month into the season and, after showing he belongs at the higher level, he is looking forward to returning to his old stomping ground.

“I am sure we will get a warm reception from everyone at Wharfedale,” said Baldwin, who scored a try in Leeds’s win at London Scottish last week. “I have been up to the club this week doing some training with young kids and there is a real buzz around the place for the Moseley game.

“Over the years, we have had quite a few young lads from Leeds up at Wharfedale on loan and I am sure there are some curious people wanting to see what the first team players are like.

“Naturally, there will be some sceptics who come along and want to see what all the fuss is about, but hopefully we can produce a performance that wins those people over.”

Leeds will be looking to consolidate their place in the Championship’s top four with victory.