Trailfinders Challenge Cup: Everything you need to know
Saracens, Ealing Trailfinders and Doncaster Knights will go head-to-head in the Trailfinders Challenge Cup, a round-robin competition which will last six weeks beginning this weekend!
Trailfinders Challenge Cup Fixtures:
Saturday, 16th January – 15H00 KO Ealing Trailfinders v Saracens
Saturday, 23rdJanuary – 15H00 KODoncaster Knights v Saracens GAME CANCELLED
Saturday, 30th January – 15H00 KO Doncaster Knights v Ealing Trailfinders
Saturday, 6th February – 13H00 KO Saracens v Ealing Trailfinders
Saturday, 13th February – 16H15 KO Saracens v Doncaster Knights
Saturday, 20th February – 15H00 KO Ealing Trailfinders v Doncaster Knights
Saracens will kick-off the tournament on the road at Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday 16th January (KO 15H00) and will then have a week break before hosting the two fellow Championship clubs in early February.
How to watch the games live:
Every game in the tournament will be live streamed with the home club determining the pricing and delivery.
MATCHES AT STONEX STADIUM
Both of Sarries’ home matches in the competition (6th & 13th Feb) will be available to watch for FREE! Fans can watch by registering and signing in at Saracens.com.
Supporters are encouraged to check their login prior to game day to ensure access to the stream.
If you have forgotten your password, it can be reset here: https://tickets.saracens.com/account/reset
Any further questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Saracens’ away matches against Ealing Trailfinders (16th Jan) and
Doncaster Knights (23rd Jan) GAME CANCELLED) will be streamed by the home club.
Each game can be purchased for £8.99 by all supporters.
If you need any technical support for the away game platform please use this form HERE.
Full replays of each match will be available through Saracens.com approximately 24 hours following full time.
Find out more about our opponents
Director of Rugby: Ben Ward
Ben Ward has been Ealing Trailfinders Director of Rugby since 2014 after stepping up from his position as head coach. He was also first choice fly-half during the club’s debut year in the Championship, a campaign in which he finished with 96 points. Ward is one of the longest-serving people at Ealing having joined from London Irish in 2004 and was responsible for his side’s reputation for running, attacking rugby. Brought up in Teddington, he was a student at St Mary’s College and was capped twice by England Students.
Key back: Max Bodilly
Max Bodilly is a product of the Exeter Chiefs Academy and made 36 senior appearances for Rob Baxter’s side before joining Ealing. The versatile centre has established himself as a dangerous runner with an eye for try, making his name in the Anglo-Welsh Cup for the Chiefs as well as featuring regularly in the A League. He also has Premiership and European experience as well as featuring on loan at Cornish Pirates in the Championship.
Key forward: Guy Thompson
Hereford-born Guy Thompson is a new addition to the Ealing squad having plied his trade at Leicester Tigers for two seasons. He boasts a heavy amount of Premiership experience, winning Newcomer of the Season in his first year at Tigers. At 33, Thompson adds a wealth of knowledge to the Trailfinders squad having also had spells at Wasps, Jersey and Richmond. In five years at Wasps, Thompson made over 100 appearances before scoring seven tries in 33 games for Leicester.
Ealing finished second in the Championship after the season was curtailed due to coronavirus. The Trailfinders played 14 matches before the league was finalised via a points per game system, winning 11 times, drawing once and losing twice to promoted club Newcastle Falcons. They scored the most amount of points in the division (491) but conceded 102 more than the Falcons (253 – the third least in the Championship).
Head coach: Steve Boden
Steve Boden took the role as Doncaster Knights Head Coach ahead of the 2020/21 season, succeeding Clive Griffiths as the man in charge. He returned to Castle Park following seven years as a player, making 188 appearances for the Knights in National 1 and the Championship before moving to Jersey. After retiring as a player at the Channel Islanders, he became forwards coach there before moving to Yorkshire Carnegie in 2016 to become head coach, helping the Leeds side to a play-off final in his first season at Headingley.
Key back: Jack Spittle
A new recruit for the Knights, Jack Spittle had a fantastic 2019/20 season for Nottingham which saw him named in The Rugby Paper’s Team of the Season. He scored 10 tries in 14 matches, scoring five on the road at Yorkshire Carnegie – one of which was the Try of the Season. The 25-year-old’s entire professional career has been spent at Nottingham and he had a try average of one in two games ahead of his switch to Doncaster. As a schoolboy, Spittle led Northampton School for Boys to their first ever Daily Mail Cup final in 2013, winning Rugby World School Player of the Month and captaining the team.
Key forward: Robin Hislop
A familiar face to Sarries fans, Robin Hislop spent the backend of the 2019/20 season on loan with the Men in Black. A strong scrummager and good around the park, he joined Doncaster ahead of the 2018/19 campaign having already spent time at the club in 2016. Hislop came through the Edinburgh Rugby Academy and made a handful appearances for the Scottish club in the European Cup and the Pro12, representing Scotland at youth level, captaining the Under-20s. He was named in The Rugby Paper’s Team of the Season.
Doncaster managed to play 15 matches ahead of the 2019/20 Championship season being curtailed and finished 10th as a result of points per game system. They suffered nine defeats in total, winning on six occasions and ended up with a negative points difference of -83. They scored 268 points whilst conceding 351 – the third worst total in the league behind Ampthill and Yorkshire Carnegie.