ROTHERHAM TITANS: Alex rides back into contention

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ALEX Rieder, one of the Rotherham’s top forwards, who has made an impressive start to his Titans career during the first two Championship games of the new season, has recovered from injury and is in the squad for Sunday’s league match at Nottingham.

Number eight Rieder, recruited from Leeds Carnegie, hurt his ribs during Sunday’s thrilling 38-38 tie with Bedford.

“Alex has been playing excellent rugby. He is a very good player who shows lots of resolve,” says Titans’ coach Andre Bester.

Rotherham will be strengthened by the expected return of flanker Toby Freeman, another new signing, who missed the Bedford match because of injury. Bester may make one or two changes as he rotates players, but the starting 15 at Nottingham will be similar to the one which began at Clifton Lane last Sunday.

Nottingham, directed by Martin Haag, who played more than 330 games for Bath before becoming forwards’ coach at Bristol and then Bath, are formidable opponents at Meadow Lane. Haag is committed to the ambition of taking the club into the Premiership and has brought to Meadow Lane many of the attitudes prevalent at the West country giant.

Titans, if they are to win their first game in the Championship this season at the third attempt, must avoid conceding kickable penalties.

If they repeat any of the careless mistakes which proved to be so damaging at London Scottish, then they will be punished by Nottingham’s New Zealand fly half, James Arlidge, who represented Japan in the 2011 World Cup.