Rotherham Titans captain sits out league finale

Tom Holmes goes on the attack
Tom Holmes goes on the attack
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Rotherham Titans will play their last two Championship games of the season without skipper Tom Holmes, one of the club’s most experienced players.

Holmes, 26, has damaged a finger which will prevent him playing against London Scottish tomorrow and then at Ealing Trailfinders a week tomorrow.

The second row forward has appeared 51 times for Titans since making his debut at Bristol in March 2014; he joined the side from Sale Sharks.

Titans’ coach Justin Burnell, who’s hoping to agree shortly a new contract for next season, says, apart from Holmes, the squad for the London Scottish clash will be more or less the same as the one which lost at Jersey a fortnight ago.

Burnell is busy putting together the squad for next season but can’t give any details yet of any potential new players. So there is still much at Clifton Lane to be sorted out before the start of the 2016-17 campaign; one aspect that Burnell and backs’ coach, Jon Clarke, will be keen to improve is Rotherham’s weakness in attack.

Titans, 10th on 37 points, have scored just 43 tries in 20 Championship games, the lowest return by any side, and that deficiency helps to explain why they have struggled this season unlike the last two under Lee Blackett.

Indeed, they may find London Scottish extremely difficult to break down and score against because the visitors have the tightest defence in the league and have conceded only 47 tries, so on paper, at least, tomorrow’s match may see few tries.

Above all else, Burnell is determined that Rotherham, who have won all three previous games at home since he took charge in February, complete the campaign at Clifton Lane with a fourth successive victory which would put them in with a good opportunity of ending the season in ninth place.

With fly half Will Robinson bound to start, the Titans’ chances may well come down to his accuracy as a goal kicker and Burnell will be hoping that his number 10 will repeat his match winning performance seen on his debut against Nottingham last month.

Rotherham Titans from: Goodwin, Keating, Barker, L.Hayes, J. Davies, J.Hayes, Owen, Robinson, A.Davies, Carter, White, Williams, Preece, C.Maddison, Tampin, Thiede, B.Maddison, Salmon, Birch, Ryan, Edgson, Redfern, Argyle, Sinclair, Cromie.