In-form Ali signs new Titans deal

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Another of Rotherham’s forwards has agreed to stay at Clifton Lane for next season.

Ulsterman and flanker Ali Birch, who is in the sline-up for Sunday’s league game against Nottingham at Meadow Lane (kick off 1pm),has signed a one year extension to his contract.

“Ali has been one of the form players this season. His work rate stands out and a lot of his work is unseen. During the first half of the campaign he was probably our best player,” said coach Lee Blackett.

Birch’s decision to remain at Rotherham means that three of their top back row forwards will be playing for the club in the Championship next season: Alex Rieder, Jack Preece and Birch.

For Sunday’s game against Nottingham, who are 10th in the league with four wins in 17 matches, a hamstring injury to Alfie To’oala has forced Blackett to alter the shape of the back row: Rieder moves to number eight and Birch resumes his place as flanker.

In the back line, winger Curtis Wilson is preferred to Jamie Broadley against a Nottingham team which is far better than the league position suggests.

Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Roberts, Socino, Wilson, Murphy, Mulchrone, Hislop, Sowrey, Quigley, Thomas-Brown, Sanderson, Birch, Preece, Rieder.