Rotherham winger Ben Foley is running into form at the right time as the Titans face their toughest home match tomorrow against Championship leaders and promotion favourites, London Irish, who will have in their starting line-up forward Ben Franks, twice a World Cup winner in 2011 and 2015 with New Zealand.
Foley, 23, scored two tries against Jersey at Clifton Lane to set up the league win two weeks ago, and then last Sunday, scored again at Nottingham. “To be fair, my record of late sounds a lot better than it is,” Foley says modestly.
“They’ve all been team tries and one against Jersey was lucky. I have not had much game-time and have got into the side because of injuries to Jack Hayes and Will Thomas. I didn’t play much last season because of injury, so it’s nice to get back into the swing of things.
“My brother, Charlie, signed for Rotherham before me and then I sent an email to our coach Justin Burnell who asked me to come on trial in the summer. I was offered terms and signed and since then I’ve settled in well, living near the Blades’ ground and been to a game at Bramall Lane!”
Blessed with pace and agility, Foley should have played for England Sevens but injury stopped him, and while he appeared in the Championship for Plymouth (2014-15,) including one against Rotherham, his pro career hasn’t always run as smoothly as he’d have liked.
Though, tomorrow Foley has a big opportunity to make an impact against London Irish who have won all their 10 Championship games. “We must throw everything at them, we have nothing to lose and this is a test all of us are looking forward to” said Foley. “When we play well, we can be sharp and dangerous but we need to put in a performance over the whole 80 minutes and not just in the last 10. We’d like to be the first team to beat London Irish, so we have to be positive - if you expect to lose you will get hammered.”
Originally from Bristol where his first club was Clifton, Foley has bounced back strongly from his red card against London Welsh in October and is now showing the skills that put him in the England Sevens’ squad.
Rotherham Titans from: Goodwin, Foley, Owen, Barker, Henry, Ryan, Walsh, Tom Williams, Cole, Rees, salmon, Curry, Grange, Calladine, Lawrence, Graham, Hutchinson, Herriott, Normandale, MacDonald, Dudman, Robinson, Tresidder.