Doncaster RLFC: New prop Verlinden set for Dons debut

Scrum half Paul Mennell will be back for the Dons to face Leigh
Scrum half Paul Mennell will be back for the Dons to face Leigh

The Dons will have Australian prop Ryan Verlinden on debut in tomorrow’s final Championship game at leaders Leigh Centurions (3pm).

The Featherstone forward has joined the Dons on loan until the end of the season with experienced second-rower Steve Snitch joining the Post Office Road club.

Dons boss Gary Thornton moved quickly when fellow props Matt Groat (ankle) and Russ Spiers (back) both picked up knocks in last weekend’s defeat against Halifax and look like joining Brett Waller on the sidelines.

“Ryan had fallen down the pecking order at Featherstone,” said Thornton. “He’s a big lad and we’ll see what he’s got to offer us.”

The Dons welcome back influential scrum-half Paul Mennell after he missed the 52-0 defeat against Halifax.

“It’s good to have him back because Paul’s the one who organises the players on the field and it means I can move Mike Emmett back to loose-forward,” said Thornton, who is looking for improvement on the showing against Halifax.

“We are our own worst enemies at times,” he said. “We certainly need to complete (our sets) better and ask questions of teams when we’ve got the ball.”

“We know it’s going to be tough at Leigh; I just hope they are still suffering from a hangover after clinching the League Leaders Shield.”

“I would imagine that (coach) Paul Rowley will rest a few of his players ahead of the start of the Middle Eights, but they’ve got such a strong squad that whoever plays they are going to be hard to beat.

“We’ve got to go with what we’ve got and try and put on a good show. We’ll certainly have to defend well for 80 minutes.”