Rotherham Titans have strengthened their links with Premiership club Gloucester by signing another forward on dual registration forms.
Welsh flanker Dan Thomas, 23, a former captain of the Wales U20 team, has played 11 games for Gloucester whom he joined two years ago from Llanelli.
Thomas is the sixth Gloucester player who has come to the Titans in the past fortnight and is more than likely to make his Rotherham debut against London Welsh in today’s British and Irish Cup tie at London Welsh.
The Welshman made more than 70 appearances for Llanelli but since going to Gloucester his first team opportunities have been few and far between, and as Thomas needs to be playing regularly, Gloucester were keen that he should join Rotherham where he can play at a good standard in the Championship.
Thomas’s Gloucester colleagues - forwards Josh McNulty, Joe Batley, Freddie Clarke and backs Lloyd Evans and Tom Hudson - have already made an impact at the Titans and given his pedigree, the flanker should be just as influential.
Rotherham, whose confidence has been boosted by the B and I Cup win against Doncaster Knights a week ago, face a tough test at London Welsh.
The Championship club, previously coached by Titans’ boss Justin Burnell, enjoyed an excellent win against Munster A in their opening Cup game by 30-15 and will be hard opponents to beat at Old Deer Park in Richmond.
The league form, though, rather like Rotherham’s, has not been as solid as they would have liked with only two wins in six Championship games.
London Welsh are seventh in the table on 13 points.
As well as Thomas coming into the side, coach Burnell has made another five to the side that beat Doncaster Knights.
In the forwards, props Tom Williams and Joe Rees take over from Toby Williams and Josh McNulty, and in the second row Tom Hicks returns at the expense of Toby Salmon who is out with an injured shoulder.
At the back of the scrum, Tom MacDonald takes over at number eight because Freddie Clarke, who made his Titans debut against Doncaster, has been recalled by Gloucester.
The one change in the backs sees scrum half Matt Dudman start against the B and I Cup holders instead of Matt Walsh who has an injured wrist.
Rotherham Titans to face London Welsh: C Foley, B Foley, Hudson, Barker, Henry, Evans, Dudman, Tom Williams, Cole, Rees, Curry, Hicks, Batley, Dan Thomas, MacDonald.
Replacements: Maddison, Toby Williams, McNulty, Tyas, Sanderson, Tresidder, Will Thomas.