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Doncaster in advanced talks with ex-England wing Semesa Rokoduguni

By Jon Newcombe
Semesa Rokoduguni playing for England in 2016 (Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images)

Doncaster Knights look set to enter the transfer market again with veterans Semesa Rokoduguni and Logovi’i Mulipola lined up as potential high-profile signings by the Championship club. Rokoduguni was one of the deadliest wingers in the Gallagher Premiership for Bath before injuries blighted the end of his decade-long stay at The Rec.

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A posterior cruciate ligament injury virtually wiped out the whole of his 2018/19 season and while he never regained his top-end speed, Rokoduguni’s elusive running style and ability to bump off defenders ensured he remained a threat.

Whilst in the Premiership, Rokoduguni earned international recognition with England, winning four caps. He cemented his status as a fan favourite, scoring over 70 tries for Bath in all competitions while he also continued to serve as a lance corporal in the British army.

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Antoine Dupont is the GREATEST rugby player EVER – Leinster vs Toulouse reaction

Jim Hamilton and Bernard Jackman react to Toulouse beating Leinster in the final of the Investec Champions Cup and discuss Antoine Dupont who was named player of the match.

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Antoine Dupont is the GREATEST rugby player EVER – Leinster vs Toulouse reaction

Jim Hamilton and Bernard Jackman react to Toulouse beating Leinster in the final of the Investec Champions Cup and discuss Antoine Dupont who was named player of the match.

Now 36, Rokoduguni has spent the last two seasons with relegation-doomed Montauban in France’s Pro D2, scoring 10 tries in 44 games, but he is on the verge of a dramatic return to England with the Yorkshire outfit.

Mulipola, meanwhile, has a wealth of experience having spent 10 seasons in the Premiership – at Leicester and Newcastle for the most part, together with loan deals at Gloucester and latterly Saracens.

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The 33-cap Samoan prop, who is a year older than Rokoduguni, has been with the reigning English champions since December. Mulipola can play on both sides of the scrum and has over 160 Premiership games under his belt.

Spearheaded by Ian McGeechan, Doncaster are on a recruitment drive for the 2024/25 season as they make a push for promotion to the Premiership. The Knights have already announced the signing of nine new players in a bid to improve on this season’s sixth-place finish in the Championship.

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In the forwards, former Jersey Reds and Leicester back row Thom Smith returns to Castle Park for a second spell, lock Cory Teague has been signed from Exeter Chiefs, while Bristol hooker Fred Davies and Scarlets tight-head Joe Jones will bolster the front row.

Also arriving in the summer are Newcastle utility back George Wacokecoke and Northern Irish winger Zack Kerr, Bath full-back Brendan Owen and Nottingham pair, fly-half Morgan Bunting and centre/wing Jordon Olowofela.

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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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