Rested Rotherham Titans prepare for Doncaster Knights derby No 2

Titans coach Justin Burnell
Titans coach Justin Burnell
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Rotherham Titans return to training today to gear up for the second South Yorkshire derby of the season against Doncaster Knights, in the British and Irish Cup.

Coach Justin Burnell gave the squad several days off after last Friday’s Championship game against Bedford Blues.

So the next two days promise to be tough as they prepare for Saturday’s cup tie at Clifton Lane, kick-off 3pm.

Doncaster, on current form, are the stronger side with four league wins from six and are once again favourites to reach the promotion play-offs.

The Knights are third in the Championship on 18 points whereas Rotherham have dropped to 10th having earned 11 points.

The decent start made by Doncaster should not be a surprise because they have kept almost all of the squad which reached the promotion final at the end of last season.

Rotherham, in contrast, recruited more than 20 new players and it’s taking time for the squad to gel.

However, with a bit more luck they could be higher in the Championship because two games - against London Scottish and Bedford - were lost by only one point.

Both clubs won’t name their squads until tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if Doncaster coach Clive Griffiths includes two former Titans who left Clifton Lane in the summer prop Robin Hislop and centre Lloyd Hayes.

Rotherham coach Burnell is expected to give opportunities to scrum-half George Tresidder and, in the pack, 18-year-old flanker James Sanderson, Toby Salmon, Toby Williams, Charlie Maddison and George Oliver.

With home advantage, Rotherham may be favourites, but only just.

Having beaten Rotherham 25-13 at Castle Park last month, Doncaster will be confident of producing a third consecutive defeat for the Titans at Clifton Lane this season.