ROTHERHAM Titans makes two changes to the starting 15 for Sunday’s first home match of the Championship season against Leeds Carnegie at Clifton Lane.
Following the 16-11 defeat at London Scottish on the opening weekend of the new season, coach Andre Bester has brought in prop Ben Hooper in place of Shane Cahill and in the backline scrum-half Jimmy Williams, who played for Birmingham and Solihull last season, takes over from Matt Rhodes.
Bester has resisted the temptation to give prop Rob O’Donnell his first game of the new campaign. The Titans boss thinks it wiser to give O’Donnell another week to recover from a leg injury suffered in pre-season.
“Hooper has got over the flu which stopped him starting against London Scottish and, as for Williams, he’s highly rated and when he played against Rotherham last season he was outstanding” said Bester. “Sunday’s game is an opportunity for him, as it is for the other players who were so disappointed with the Scottish result.
“We lacked cohesion but have taken corrective action to rectify the problems.
“We have a talented squad which is working hard. Rotherham’s season will not be defined by what happens in the first month, but where we are by January next year,” he added.
“The season is long and that’s why you have to manage the welfare of injured players.”
On what was a poor start to the Championship season by all three of Yorkshire’s clubs - Doncaster and Leeds also lost -, Rotherham are aware that the Headingley side, relegated from the Premiership in May, are determined to prove their critics wrong by winning this Sunday’s derby.