Rotherham Titans new recruit full-back Michael Keating, who has joined from Doncaster Knights, has begun pre-season training at Clifton Lane.
The 23-year-old Dubliner, an impressive performer last season in a struggling Doncaster side that was relegated, is a major signing. He’s a consistent tryscorer, a dangerous counter-attacker and solid in defence.
“One of the factors that persuaded me to come to Rotherham was the excitement of playing at Clifton Lane, which has a great atmosphere,” he said.
“The ambitions of the Rotherham coach, Lee Blackett, match mine in terms of taking the club to the next level.
“Last year at Doncaster was bad because we went down, so playing in National One was not an option for me.
“I have a lot of respect for the fans, the players and coaches at Doncaster and I think they will bounce back straight away because they have retained a core of their good players.
“I had to stay in the shop window, which is the Championship.
“Lee has made some good signings and it is an exciting time to be at Rotherham.
“The standard in the Championship is really good and gets better each year.
“Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Bedford were quality teams last season.
“Bbut the interesting thing is that in this league anyone can beat any other side on their day.”
Keating, educated at Belvedere College, one of Dublin’s top rugby schools, has played for Clontarf RUFC, Leinster A and Ireland U-20s.
Rotherham’s new full-back played two seasons at Doncaster and in his first made a big impact, scoring 10 Championship tries.
Keating appeared in three South Yorkshire derbies and was never on the winning side, but he has successfully overcome last season’s operation on his left shoulder.
He said: ” I am 100 per cent fit now and I am really looking forward to my season at Rotherham.”