London Broncos v Doncaster RLFC: Dons set for Championship opener

Skipper Kyle Kesik is rated 50-50 for this weekend's league opener in London.
Skipper Kyle Kesik is rated 50-50 for this weekend's league opener in London.

Doncaster will break new ground in their opening Championship clash against London Broncos at The Hive on Sunday.

Broncos have had a number of homes in the capital since being formed 35 years ago.

They moved into Barnet FC’s new home at the start of last season at a time when there were real fears that they could go out of business.

They were relegated from the Super League for the first time after a disastrous season last year but elected to remain a full-time club.

Having regrouped they will start life in the Championship with a stronger squad than 12 months ago.

Like the Dons, Broncos were beaten in their final warm-up game but Dons player-coach Paul Cooke is not reading too much into their heavy defeat at Dewsbury.

“Having watched the DVD they’ve obviously got some areas to fix up from that game and will have been working hard to do so,” said Cooke.

“They’ll definitely have worked on errors which led to them conceding four tries from kicks, so it can easily lull you into a false sense of security.

“I’m not so sure they’ll play as badly again.

“Dewsbury is not the easiest place to go as we know only too well, and being a former Super League side they won’t have been used to the surroundings.”

The Dons have also been busy working on their own shortcomings, exposed in their four warm-up games during the last fortnight.

Their preparations have not been helped by the knee injury sustained by scrum-half prospect Richard Wilkinson and he will be one of three squad members on the sidelines.

Scrum-half Danny Nicklas and full back Tom Carr, a close season signing from Whitehaven, are both ruled out with knee injuries.

Skipper Kyle Kesik, rated ‘50-50’ earlier in the week with a rib injury, is also a doubt.

Cooke has spoken with his Hull FC counterpart Lee Radford and identified players he would be interested in using should they be available this season and there is a possibility that at least one dual-registered player will be in his squad.

“It will be tough when I sit down to pick the team,” he said.

“There are some players who have got runs on the board from last season, some players we are still finding out about and there are others who we need to continue to work with.”