Doncaster Knights loan ace Stedman signs full deal as club assemble core of squad for new season

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Doncaster Knights are wasting little time with their preparations for next season.

Barely a week after signing off with victory at Plymouth Albion, director of rugby Clive Griffiths already has assembled the core of his squad for the new campaign.

Knights have thus far announced new contracts for 11 players including club captain Matt Challinor and 2014/15 Championship top points scorer Dougie Flockhart.

Seven players also move into the second year of their two-year deals, while Doncaster have also signed Ollie Stedman from London Welsh following his successful loan spell at Castle Park.

Griffiths said. “I’m delighted that we’ve managed to keep a strong nucleus of the squad together especially in the pack.

“Obviously we will need to find a replacement for Tom [Davies] but we’re well placed with Listy [Richard List] and Jack [Bergmanas].”

Challinor, Flockhart, Richard List, Jack Bergmanas, WillGriff John, Jon Phelan, Tyler Hotson, Alex Shaw, Latu Makaafi, Andy Bulumakau and Bevon Armitage have all had their contracts extended.

Colin Quigley, Ben Hunter, Michael Hills, Brad Field, Tyson Lewis, Paul Jarvis and Mat Clark will enter into the final year of their current deals later this summer.

Number eight Stedman, meanwhile, believes next season could see the Knights challenge for a top four finish.

The 23-year-old said: “It’s going to be a pivotal season for us, if we build on some of the performances from this year against the leagues top clubs we should be looking up the table rather than down.

“I’ve really enjoyed my loan period here this season. The feeling around the club and ethos in the changing room is what has made signing permanently the right decision for me.

“With the squad we have plus a few quality additions there should be no reason why we can’t look to be competing for a top four spot next season.”