Home debut for Dons’ Cooke

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PAUL Cooke, Doncaster Rugby League Club’s big close-season signing, will make his home debut in Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup pool game against York City Knights at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Cooke will come up against former Hull FC and Wakefield team-mate Paul King, who will be making his debut for the Minstermen whose opening game against Swinton at the weekend was postponed and which has been rearranged for next week.

“I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s game and I’ll be playing against a few familiar faces which should be good,” said Cooke, who helped steer the Dons to a 48-10 win at Gateshead on Wednesday night,

“The Keepmoat is a great stadium and our fans are both loud and passionate about their rugby which should create a good atmosphere as I’m sure York will bring a few (fans) with them.

“We’re expecting a tough game; they’ve assembled a strong squad this season and will be a well-drilled outfit.”

Knights are expected to also include former Dons prop Alex Benson and Hull FC back-rower Chris Green, who has joined them on a dual registration.

Green played for the Dons on a dual registration deal last season and team boss Tony Miller admits that he would like to have retained his services for the 2012 campaign.

“Chris did well for us last season and he would have been a useful acquisition to the squad this season but I think Hull wanted him to play at Championship level,” said Miller.

The game could see young Dons centre Jamie Crowther line-up against James Ford, who recommended him to the Championship One club during the close season.

York centre Ford is one of Crowther’s tutors at Wakefield College where he is currently studying for a Sports Performance and Excellence diploma.