Only four regular Championship players are included in Titans’ starting line-up against Ulster Ravens in the British & Irish Cup at Clifton Lane tomorrow.
Interestingly, Jan-Francois Bester, 18 year old son of Rotherham’s coach Andre Bester, makes his full debut at hooker against one of the strongest teams in the competition. Ulster, who have won all three of previous Cup games against Doncaster, Currie and Pontypridd, is familiar to both Besters because the Rotherham boss coached in Belfast before coming to Titans and his son played age group rugby for the province.
Ulster’s A side are a powerful unit who will be confident of earning their fourth successive win, but Bester is determined his squad players, who may be required for the promotion play-offs, are given the opportunity to play competitively against high quality opponents.
In the pack, Jamie Kilbane, Barney Maddison, Adrian Griffiths and Sam Dickinson provide Rotherham with the Championship experience required to provide a decent challenge, and in the Titans’ back line, full back Stephen Hamilton, centre Elliott Brierley and wingers Peter Homan and John McMahon, who have not appeared frequently in the league side, have a chance to show their potential.
The Ulster game’s kick off time has been brought forward to 1pm tomorrow, and Rotherham have also decided that the Championship matches at Clifton Lane against Nottingham on Christmas Eve and those at home against London Welsh and Moseley in January will also start at 1pm.
Meanwhile, Scottish centre Dave McCall, who has performed well during his spell on loan, will remain at Clifton Lane until the end of the season.