Ben Cockayne makes rugby league return with Doncaster

Drew Darbyshire

Former Hull KR winger Ben Cockayne has come out of retirement to sign for League 1 side Doncaster.

The 38-year-old, who can play wing or full-back, initially announced his retirement midway through the 2019 campaign but laced up the boots again on Sunday for Doncaster as they went down to a 44-8 defeat to Rochdale.

Cockayne played for Doncaster in 2005 before going on to play for Hull KR, Featherstone, Wakefield and York. He scored 71 tries in 214 appearances for Hull KR across two stints.

On his move to Doncaster, Cockayne said: “It feels strange but I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve played so I was really interested when I got the call.

“I spoke to Sam Smeaton initially and then had a chat with Richard (Horne, coach) and Carl (Hall, chief executive) which intrigued me even more.

“It’s interesting that it’s all come back to where it’s started, I’m excited and a little bit nervous for no other reason than the fact I haven’t played for a while.

“Physically I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been but being match fit is totally different, that might take me a couple of games to get used to but I’ll have a dig and see where we go.

“The biggest strength from myself will probably be the experience I can bring, I was a young player here once so I know what is needed.

“I’m not here to change the world so to speak, I’m here to contribute the best I can and give something back to the club that started my journey in 2005.”

Cockayne has scored 129 tries in 314 career appearances and has also spent time coaching at Hull KR following his initial retirement.

He was part of the Hull KR squad that won the National League One Grand Final back in 2006.