- Doncaster, Leeds & Rotherham to contest for Yorkshire Regiment Trophy
- The quality of rugby on show in the second tier is advancing year on year – Lancaster
Photo: RFU Archive
The Yorkshire contingency of the RFU Championship – Doncaster, Leeds and Rotherham – have unveiled the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy; a cup contested between the three clubs as part of the RFU Championship season.
Supported by the Yorkshire Regiment, who kindly donated the trophy, the trophy will be won by the team which records the most wins over the two other Yorkshire clubs during the RFU Championship season.
Speaking at Cliffords Tower in York, which hosted the launch of the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy, Doncaster Knights captain Matt Challinor said: “I’m from Rotherham and have played for Leeds, Rotherham and obviously now Doncaster, so the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy is of particular importance to me. It’s great to see the county celebrating having three teams in the RFU Championship which should bring some publicity and encourage people to come along to the games.
“It was strange (playing against Rotherham) to start with but a lot of lads have switched between the two clubs. I live in Rotherham now so I get a bit of stick but it’s panned out well. I moved to Doncaster four seasons ago and was lucky enough to have been named captain this year so it’s gone really well for me. I’ve got no regrets.
“Having played all my rugby in Yorkshire, I’ve played at some junior clubs and they have a Yorkshire Regiment Trophy, but because the Championship teams aren’t involved, this adds an extra bit of spice for the Yorkshire derbies in the competition.”
Photo: RFU Archive
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, who captained Leeds Carnegie and lives in the city, welcomed the development of the new cup, saying:“The Yorkshire Regiment Trophy is another fantastic way of recognising the strength of rugby in the North, and in the RFU Championship.
"The quality of rugby on show in the second tier is advancing year on year – no more so than what we’ve seen this season – and the introduction of the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy should definitely add some extra competitive rivalry between the Yorkshire teams. I’m very proud of my Yorkshire connections so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the competition.”
The Yorkshire Regiment Trophy kicks off this Friday night at Lancaster’s former club, with Leeds Carnegie hosting Doncaster Knights. Looking forward to returing to Headingley, Challinor said:“It’s always good to play at Headingley. Hopefully there will be a big crowd.
"We’ve looked at their team, any potentially weaknesses. We have to go in with confidence, but we don’t underestimate the challenge. At the club, we’ve got a good squad despite a slow start. I’m sure we’ll come good.”
Just five games into the new 2012-13 RFU Championship season, results have shown just how competitive the competition has become with Plymouth (who finished 11th last year) currently in third position, four points below second placed Bedford Blues.
Challinor added: “In our squad we have a lot of lads who have played in Wales in the Magners League or abroad and when they ask what the Champ is like, having played in it for a while, I’m able to say that the standard has definitely got higher. There are no easy games anymore. Anyone can beat anyone on the day.”