Rotherham Titans, who’ve recently established a strong partnership with a national charity, Prostate Cancer UK, have now forged links with another major national organisation: the RAF.
Darren Oliver, 28, a gunner with the RAF Regiment, is the latest addition to the Rotherham pack. The forwards’ latest recruit, who plays in the second row, has appeared in representative games for the RAF and the Combined Services and arrives at Clifton Lane on secondment.
Head Coach Justin Burnell says: “Darren is a fantastic signing for us. He will bring physical presence to our pack. He has fitted in well at training and when you’ve got Darren’s size at six foot six, you’ve got a massive man on the park.
“The RAF’s values of working hard and being disciplined mirror ours.”
While serving in the RAF, Oliver played league rugby for Chinnor in Oxfordshire.
Air Commodore Steve Lushington, Chairman of the RAF RFU, said: “I am delighted to be growing a partnership with Rotherham Titans. We shall be working hard with the club to make sure that Rotherham and the RAF get the best of out of Darren.”
While Oliver has still to play Championship rugby, Burnell has no doubt that his RAF signing has the ability to make a real impact in league games.
Rotherham have also strengthened the Titans’ back line by signing full back Will Thomas from Llandovery who compete in the Welsh Premiership.
The 22 year old made 26 appearances for Llandovery last season and is highly regarded.
“I consider Will to be a real gem and his potential is unbelievable. We had glowing references about him,” said Burnell.
Thomas comes from the same club as the former Titans centre Jack Roberts who made such a strong impression at Clifton Lane before he was signed by Premiership club Leicester Tigers two years ago.
The new full back has played for Wales Sevens and will be fighting against Will Goodwin for a starting place.
Meanwhile, Rotherham are hoping to appoint a new Sevens’ coach soon, and the Titans’ chief executive, Richard Lamb, is stepping up his efforts to attract new investors and sponsors.