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Doncaster confirm 20 leavers, including Chile skipper Martin Sigren

By Liam Heagney
Martin Sigren in action for Chile (Photo by Javier Torres/AFP via Getty Images)

Mid-table Championship club Doncaster have confirmed the exit of 20 players following the end of the 2022/23 season, including Martin Sigren, the captain of Chile who will play England at the Rugby World Cup in September.

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The South American back-rower spoke to RugbyPass last November about the upcoming finals and about his first season in the English second-tier, but his stay at the Knights has now ended following their sixth-place finish.

A statement read: “Doncaster Knights can confirm that 20 players will leave the club now that the 2022/23 season has drawn to a close.

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“In the forward pack, the departures will include Jake Armstrong, Bobby Bratton, Jared Cardew, Sam Daly, George Edgson, Will Holling, Sam Hudson, John Kelly, Kai Owen, Jake Pope, Martin Sigren, Thom Smith, Theo Vukasinovic, and James Wayland. In the backline, the departures will include Joe Green, Alec Lloyd-Seed, Robbie Smith, Jack Spittle, Fraser Strachan and Will Yarnell.”

Head coach Steve Boden said: “A massive thank you from myself, the club and the supporters for the hard work and the commitment you all put in throughout the 2022/23 season.

“It wasn’t an easy season to navigate through and testament to all the players, we stuck in there together to make something of it all. I wish everybody all the best in the future – you are massively welcome, and hopefully we do see you back at Castle Park for a beer at some time in the future.”

Sigren made 24 appearances as a Knight in the Championship league and cup competitions and he wasn’t alone in spending just one season at the club. Ex-Bristol tighthead Armstrong, ex-Worcester loosehead Owen and ex-Wasps lock Vukasinovic were also 2022/23 newcomers at the club.

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Another eye-catching exit is that of Thom Smith, the ex-Leicester back-rower who became Tigers’ youngest captain in a league game when he led a Steve Borthwick-coached side in an August 2020 game against Gloucester.

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Flankly 14 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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