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21

OCT

Davey brings in young centre
Doncaster Knights have moved swiftly to announce the new signing of centre Fred Burdon ahead of round 8 of the Championship season.

The club have added 23-year-old Newcastle born Burdon to their squad after the double blue caught the eye of Director of Rugby, Brett Davey while playing for National League One side Blaydon following his two appearances in the Oxbridge Varsity.

Fred is originally from the north east and played for Premiership side Newcastle Falcons’ Academy as a youngster, playing alongside young talent such as Will Welch, now a senior Falcons player, and Rory Clegg, who has since moved to Harlequins.

The Knights parted company with player/coach Paul Devlin last month leaving a hole in the midfield of an already small Doncaster squad. But the transfer of the former England Students utility back Burdon, who studied chemistry at Cambridge University; obtaining first-class honours, illustrates Davey’s intentions to remain contenders for this season’s Championship play-offs.

After graduating this summer the 6ft powerful back spent time on trial with Premiership club Gloucester at Kingsholm and also featured in the Middlesex Sevens tournament for invitational side HFW Whalers. Burdon returned to Blaydon for competitive rugby, where his assured performances convinced Davey that the former England U16 A player was ready to step up to Championship rugby.

His arrival will add depth to the squad and increase competition in the centre of the field with established starters Tom Luke, PJ Gidlow and Oli Goss, whilst adding a vibrant and youthful touch to Doncaster Knights.

“I joined the Knights because of their ambition and the quality of their rugby. They have great coaches here and they’re doing well in the Championship, they want to push on as far as they can.

“My own aim is to integrate well into the team and get as much game time as possible so we can push up the league.

“They seem like really good lads, I already knew Jack Yeandle from England Students rugby and he recommended the Knights really strongly, which helped with my decision to sign.”

Although Fred has made the decision to live in Leeds, where he has friends at university, he is looking forward to seeing more of Doncaster and meeting the Knights fans.

“I’ve heard the area is very like Newcastle, where I’m from, with honest, friendly people. Hopefully I can make an impact on the rugby scene here and I just want to slot into the team and get the best out of myself for Doncaster."

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