Cambridge Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Richie Williams has named his 23-man squad to face visitors Doncaster Knights at Ellgia Fields on Saturday.

Welcoming the Yorkshire based side to Cambridge on Saturday 28 October, Cambridge will face off once again against Doncaster having met them in round one of the Premiership Cup last month.

Despite suffering defeat in round one of the Championship last week, away to Ampthill, Williams was keen to impress the pride he had towards his team for last week’s performance;

“Our first ever game in the Championship was so close to going to script, as we suffered a last play of the game 28-26 defeat against Ampthill. The key message in the build-up to the game was to stay in the fight for long periods and look to take the ascendency in the last quarter. I thought we managed to do that really well, eventually taking the lead in the 68th minute through a bonus point try from hooker Morgan Veness.”

“Unfortunately, through a combination of lack of composure and individual errors, we allowed Ampthill to set camp in our 22 and come away with a converted try which was scored in stoppage time.”

“I was massively proud of the effort and commitment of all players, and it was evident how much we have grown during the last six-week period. In our review meeting on Monday evening, I spoke about the necessity to manage momentum and control territory and possession during key moments of games. This is the first time that this group of players have been in the lead going into the last 10 minutes of a Championship game and it is important to recognise how we learn and see out a game when we get another opportunity. On another day, the 2 points that we collected could have and should have been 5 points.”

Whilst only seven weeks have passed since Cambridge went up against Doncaster at Castle Park, noticeable changes have come into force with Williams side including the return of a number of key players;

“Another key component to a more effective performance against Ampthill was the fact that we were able to select a strong squad of 23 players. There was a visible lift in performance when we brought on players like Benji Hoppe, Matt Dawson, Toby Dabell and new player, Jamie Benson. I was really pleased with the way that Jamie played when he came on and I have been impressed with how quickly he has become invested in the group and what we want to achieve collectively.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s clash and the squad selection;

“Tomorrow we have our second opportunity of trying to beat Doncaster Knights. Some of our lessons from the earlier Premiership Cup game were how physical Doncaster were in their attack and how efficient and pragmatic they were with both their scrum and lineout drill. They are coming off the back of a close home win against Hartpury College and will be looking to continue in the same manner this weekend.”

“We are able to retain the core of last weekend’s squad, with the only changes seeing Willie Priestley come into the match day squad for Ben Brownlie and Anthony Maka replacing Matt Dawson on the bench. Morgan Veness starts at hooker after impressing off the bench and Toby Dabell starts at scrum half with Kieran Duffin moving to the bench.”

Kick off is at 3pm on Saturday 28 October with gates open from 12pm. Fans are encouraged to make the most of pre-sale prices and purchase their tickets and parking online today via the Cambridge Rugby website.

Cambridge line-up:
15 | Eli Caven
14 | Kwaku Asiedu
13 | Sam Hanks
12 | Matt Williams
11 | Matt Hema
10 | Steffan James
9 | Toby Dabell
1 | Jake Ellwood
2 | Morgan Veness
3 | Billy Walker
4 | Kieran Frost
5 | George Bretag Norris ©
6 | Geordie Irvine
7 | Ben Adams
8 | Jared Cardew

16 | Willie Priestley
17 | Harry Morley
18 | Matty Collins
19 | Benji Hoppe
20 | Anthony Maka
21 | Kieran Duffin
22 | Jamie Benson
23 | Joe Green