Rhys Tait signs for Doncaster Knights

20-year-old flanker from Hawick has impressed whilst on loan at English Championship club since February

Former Scotland Under-20s captain Rhys Tait has signed for Doncaster Knights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Former Scotland Under-20s captain Rhys Tait has signed for Doncaster Knights. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

FORMER Scotland Under-20s captain and Glasgow Warriors Academy member Rhys Tait has signed for Doncaster Knights, having spent the latter part of last season on loan with English Championship (second tier) club.

Originally from Hawick, Tait was assigned to Boroughmuir Bears Super Series side during his time as a stage three member of the Scottish Rugby Academy. He’s the second promising back-rower from the Borders to leave the Scottish academy set-up in recent months, following the release of Rudi Brown by Edinburgh at the start of April.

“We’re delighted that Rhys has come on board with us for next year,” said Doncaster head coach Steve Boden. “Obviously, we got a good look at what he can do last year with him coming on loan at the back end of the season.


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“He’s a young man with a lot of aspiration and ambition. He’s very comfortable on the ball and has got a very good skill-set, and he’s hungry to try to kick-on his rugby career.

“So, we think he’s going to add some great competition within our environment, and we’re looking to see him grow in a Doncaster shirt.”

Tait, who led Scotland Under-20s during the 2022 Six Nations campaign, scored a brace of tries on his Knights debut against Bedford Blues in February.

“I was welcomed into the squad straight away by all the players and coaches, and I really enjoyed the tight knit group atmosphere in training and games. So, I’m delighted to have signed for the Knights for next season,” he said.

Glasgow Warriors have some serious competition in the back-row. Matt Fagerson, Jack Dempsey and Rory Darge are key Scotland squad members, Tongan cap Sione Vailanu was a big hit this season, Tom Gordon has been a reliable option at openside since 2018, Ally Miller has struggled for game-time since making the switch west from Edinburgh in 2021, while youngsters Gregor Brown and Euan Ferrie are well on their way to establishing themselves in the squad.

Warriors have also signed South African journeyman Henco Venter for next season.


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About David Barnes 3991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

18 Comments

  1. Scot abroad: you’d be laughed out the room telling anyone down south the championship is a fit for purpose league. Half the teams are semi-pro at best, half are pro but would have no aspirations of promotion as they couldn’t survive the financial headwinds of the top flight, a handful are sugar-daddy backed and dominate the league but without any support to speak of can’t meet the premiership ground requirements. The RFU has slashed funding to the championship and doesn’t have a clue what it’s vision for the league is. If you think multi-millionaires pouring funds into a team like Ealing, with no prospect of promotion in a financial climate that has seen three premiership teams go to the wall in a single season is a fit for purpose league I think you need to think again. How many championship teams have disappeared without a trace trying to climb the ladder?

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    • FF
      I know of a player who was at Doncaster a few years ago .was not full time pro
      It was semi pro arrangement .shared digs with three others
      On days he wasn’t training he had to have a part time job .

    • It’s a league of well run and well supported clubs playing a good standard of rugby. I do personally have an issue with the notion of semi pro rugby and the effect this can have on the mental wellbeing of the many players at this level who don’t quite ‘make it’ but find themselves behind their peers in careers outside of rugby when it comes time to hang up their boots. I think this is being addressed and in all honesty the drop in funding from the RFU may have helped in this regard. But, if you’re familiar with the championship and clubs like Doncaster, Jersey, Ealing, Ampthill, they are all fine examples of well run and well supported rugby clubs at the heart of their communities then in many regards they the product on the park is more compelling than that on show in the Premiership. Super 6 on the other hand….

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  2. There are actually quite a lot of Scottish players in the English Championship. I highlighted in an earlier post that I had stumbled across the fact that there were 5 I think Scottish players playing for the Jersey Reds side who won the league – this included Sam Grahamslaw, Hamish Bain and Lewis Wynne as captain. All ex Scotland U20 players. I have no idea how many in total play in England.

    So its a good standard of Rugby and a good place for Scottish players to develop and potentially return at a later stage in their career. This is what Tom Dodd has done returning to Edinburgh from Coventry.

    It does beg the question why so many are going south rather than playing in the S6?

      • OK so perhaps not returning physically but progressing from Championship rugby to Scottish Pro rugby. I think the Jersey players I mentioned all played in Scotland before moving South. The point still being that the Championship is home to many Scottish players who didn’t make it to pro level in Scotland but could do in the future.

  3. Whats this? Actual signing news? About an actual Scottish player?

    Well done!

    Good luck Rhys

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    • Promising young Scottish back-rower leaves to formally join English championship outfit just as SA club back-row player arrives at Glasgow….

      The plot thickens!

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    • Surely Rhys is the sort of player that Super 6 was created for? Yet, like many otters, he’s voting with his feet. Good decision and good luck to him .

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      • Another way to look at it, is that the super series is there to bridge the gap between amateur and professional. After playing successfully for a couple of season in it, Tait has earned himself a professional contract. So maybe it’s doing it’s job.

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      • Or maybe Rhys Tait is a fine rugby player who has been part of the Scottish Rugby Academy and age grade squads and following a stint on loan at Doncaster has impressed enough to be offered a contract by the English Championship club. Whether he played Super 6 specifically is an irrelevance, he always had what it takes. My point is that Super 6 was supposed to compete with the English Championship not feed into it. It’s costing Scottish Rugby a lot of money with no apparent accountability. All we hear is that S6 has issues but it’s early days and just wait another 5 years. Millions upon millions of pounds being spent by the SRU and the clubs involved. Players are leaving to go abroad, not just Rhys but others too. Some are going back to club rugby, some are quitting altogether. Several of the S6 teams struggling to pull together a squad, borrowing players from each other, emergency loans left right and centre. Some boys have played for 3 separate teams in a tournament that was 7 games long. Where has Dodson gone, he appears to have given up on any public support of the tournament. It is time to review and look at alternative options.

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  4. Glad Rhys has a club to go too.
    Interested to hear about Rhys’s cohorts in Glasgow’s Academy and what they are doing next season. McKnight, Smeaton, Stirrat et al.

  5. He’s a try scoring machine. More ambitious young Scottish players will need to follow his example – there’s very little chance of progression in the existing Scottish pro set-up. Go well Rhys!

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