Rotherham Titans have received a major boost before their table-topping clash against Championship leaders Bristol at Clifton Lane on Saturday.
Five of the first team squad have re-signed for next season: scrum half Dan White, centre Jack Roberts, back row forward Alex Rieder,hooker Tom Cruse and winger Curtis Wilson. Four of the players - White, Rieder, Cruse and Wilson- have agreed to sign two year deals which will keep them at Rotherham until the end of the 2015-16 season.
“I’m delighted because by re-signing these players we are getting continuity and stability” says coach Lee Blackett. “Too often in previous seasons, players have come and gone and now that five have re-signed we can look forward confidently.”
All five players are likely to be in the squad to face Bristol in Saturday’s televised game (4.45 pm)-first against third in the Championship.
Rotherham, with home advantage, have an excellent opportunity to gain revenge for their defeat at Bristol by 36-26 in November.
Bristol went top of the Championship after beating Plymouth by 43-12 last weekend.
Titans’ defence will need to be at its best because their opponents are the leading try scorers in the league -71 to Rotherham’s 50.
Bristol’s winger, George Watkins, is the league’s principal individual try scorer with 15, too.
Rumoured to be the highest payers in the Championship, Bristol have six of their first team on £100,000 a season, and Director of Rugby, Andy Robinson, the former England and Scotland coach, earning £250,000 a year.
One Rotherham player eager to take on the Championship leaders, is Alfie To’oala, who played for Bristol in the Premiership between 2006-009.