ROTHERHAM’S latest signing, 20-year-old winger Curtis Wilson, who joined from Leeds Carnegie, makes his Titans’ debut tomorrow against Newcastle Falcons.
Rotherham’s coach, Alex Codling, has no doubts at all about Wilson’s ability to cope with the pressure of playing against the side that are unbeaten in the league and are clear favourites to regain their place in the Premiership next season.
“Curtis is a born finisher, has great footwork and long term potential. I first saw him playing for Otley against Barking a few years ago and was impressed then.
“He is with us for the rest of the season and will make an impact.
“All the first team squad wanted to play against Newcastle and to test themselves against the best, so there were a number of tight calls for me to make in terms of selection.
“There’s been a real buzz in training this week and we are looking forward to the challenge of taking on the best side in the Championship.
“Newcastle are a class outfit and have genuine quality throughout the team, but Rotherham will give it a real go and with home advantage I know that our supporters will be backing us to do well,” says Codling.
Wilson will not be the only Rotherham player making his league debut for the club.
Following his barnstorming performance against Aberavon last weekend in the British and Irish Cup, forward Laurence Pearce is named as one of the replacements.
The Hull number eight,big and powerful, is certain to be used sometime in the second half by Codling who is keen to give Pearce game-time to learn how he copes against the most competitive forwards in the Championship.
As regards the starting line-up in the pack,Codling has stuck with the front row which came on in the second half at Bristol recently; that is: Jamie Kilbane,Ted Stagg and Gareth Denman.
In such an important match, it is essential that second row forward, Dan Sanderson, who is good in the line out and in loose play, keeps his self-discipline, and having served a one match ban imposed by the club for receiving his fifth yellow card, against Bristol.
Codling hopes Sanderson has learned a lesson.
If Rotherham are to have any hope of causing what would be the shock of the season, they need to have 15 players on the field, so Sanderson must show some self-control.
* Titans: Law, Doneghan, Sheridan, Nonu, Wilson, McKinney, Mulchrone, Kilbane, Stagg, Denman, Sanderson, Thomas, Makaafi, Kirwan, Freeman. Replacements: Saunders, Gadd, Davies, Rieder, Pearce, Williams, Blackett.