Doncaster three-quarter Chris Spurr is hopeful that South Yorkshire rugby league can continue to build on the success of last season.
The Dons come into this Championship season having been promoted as champions. With near neighbours Sheffield Eagles also defending their Championsip crown, rugby league in the region is beginning to look very strong.
“It’s great for South Yorkshire,” he told Love Rugby League.
“Neither place is a massive rugby league city or town, so to have that derby in the Championship, with both of us being champions last year, will be great for both towns, as well as for South Yorkshire and for rugby league as a whole.
“It can only improve things, especially on the back of last year.
“A local derby and the rivalry will get some press, which will hopefully be good for both clubs.
“It can improve the fanbase and hopefully improve the chances of people playing the game at a young age.”
“I think for the sport it’s a great thing,” he said.
“The thing for rugby league as a sport is to try and improve the profile. While we’re not a national sport it’s always going to be a struggle.
“So the more we can make it a national sport and get the profile and media coverage I think we deserve, then it’s only going to be good for the game.”
Meanwhile, the centre also feels that Doncaster will be able to do themselves justice at a higher level this season, with recruitment having gone well.
“We had a good year last, probably beyond our expectations really,” he said.
“We finished top of the league and then won the Grand Final. But we’re under no illusions knowing that it’s going to be a real tough year, stepping up a division.
“We’re up against some real quality. We’ve kept most of the squad together and worked in one or two new additions.
“And we hoping to make a bit of mark on this Championship this year.
“We’ve kept the majority of the squad together, which is good because we based a lot of what we did last year on team spirit and hard work.
“Obviously Paul Cooke is a massive player for us. We made one or two additions, and we’ve also got a link up with Wakefield.
“We’ve got two or three players in on dual registration which helped us last year, so we’ll be pretty strong.”