Cumbrian rugby is crying out for fresh investment, insists James Donaldson

James Donaldson believes Rugby League in his native Cumbria is ‘crying out’ for fresh investment and fresh ideas.

The 26-year-old made his return to the Hull KR side from another serious knee injury last weekend, during the Robins’ 38-6 win over Huddersfield.

And Donaldson, who hails from West Cumbria, says ideas like the one mooted by Marwan Koukash about a new professional team in the region are exciting to hear.

He said: “It’s crying out for something like that, is Cumbria. There are a lot of good people, players and coaches up there. It’s nice to hear about it but if it happens is a different question because it’s been talked about for years.

“I can’t see teams merging but it would probably be best if they had something around the Penrith area, as that’s the gateway to Cumbria. Between Penrith you have Workington, Whitehaven and Barrow within a short distance.

“Everyone will buy into it and it’ll be great for the county. It’s not that lively, there’s not many things to do so maybe that enjoyment for any young kid will aspire them to want to play Super League too.”

Meanwhile, Donaldson admits his previous experience with serious injuries helped him survive his latest long-term layoff as he ended his 11-month absence from the Hull KR side last weekend.

Donaldson featured for the Robins for the first since Good Friday last year when he came off the bench during their 38-6 win over Huddersfield last Thursday.

The 26-year-old has been sidelined with an ACL problem, the third time he has suffered such an injury long-term in his short career.

And he praised the Robins for their support in his latest battle back to full fitness.

“It’s been a long process but it’s good to put that red and white badge back on,” he smiled.

“The only difference with my ACL this time is that I have experience with it.

“I knew what to do, the right things at the right time. The staff here at Hull KR have given me everything that I need and their full support – they flew me over to Ireland to see a specialist.

“I haven’t seen Rovers do that for many players before so I’m thankful for their support and it’s good to get out on the field – and feel human again.”