Doncaster Knights travel to Stade Santander for a 7.45pm Championship tie that will come and go without the Kiwi winger’s influence, following a break to his hand this week. As a result, Auguy Slowik moves onto the wing and Greg Dyer switches from fly-half to fullback. Brendan Cope starts at No 10 and Aaron Penberthy, who can cover fly-half and fullback, is named in a competitive matchday squad for the first time this season.
Biljon also has Namibia international Janco Venter back in the pack – ‘fresh’ from his Rugby World Cup foray – while Fijian prop Leeroy Atalifo is expected on-field next week.
‘Players are starting to come back and we’ve now got competition in the front-row, competition in the second row and lots of competition in the back row,’ Biljon explained.
‘Atalifo’s back … we almost dropped him straight in but he’s not quite on our time zone yet. It’s great to be in a place where we’ve got tightheads available, we haven’t been there in a long time.
‘In the backs we’ve got the complete opposite – everyone who’s standing is playing. Van Dam has a broken hand, Kuki’s knee, Tom Williams’ shoulder, Liam Howley’s in a boot … it’s a tough place to be.’
He added: ‘What we’ve got this week is two teams playing contrasting styles of rugby. One will play the set-piece and slow the game down and the other will play with a little bit more pace and push the ball. We’ve got to be aware of their streetwise tactics and we’ve put a plan in place for that.’
Full story in Thursday’s JEP.