Rotherham’s new number eight, Australian forward Tim Cree,28, looks all set to make his Titans Championship debut against Ealing Trailfinders at home, two weeks on Sunday.
Given Cree’s successful background at club level in Canberra-his side Tuggeranong Vikings were Australian national club champions in four consecutive seasons-it seems that Rotherham have signed a winner.
Cree has also played at a higher level, representing the A team of ACT Brumbies, one of the best State teams in Australia.
Last season, Cree appeared against the A teams of Tonga, Samoa, New South Wales, Queensland, Argentina, Fiji and Japan, scoring two tries in Canberra against a touring Argentina side.
So Rotherham’s new Aussie has plenty of experience in senior rugby which must help the Titans in the Championship, an ever improving league.
“One of the reasons I came here is that Rotherham have a good track record and I think exciting times are ahead.
“Our new coach, Mark Jones, is switched on, I’m impressed with his rugby knowledge and from what I see of the squad, Rotherham will be difficult to beat.
“In Australia, we play an expansive game and from what the boys say, I expect Championship rugby to be forward dominated and physical, but as in other countries, the weather will determine how we play.
“My last full game was at the end of June, so when I came here I found the first week of pre-season training really tough but enjoyable.
“Everyone has made me feel welcome and when the World Cup was on show in Rotherham earlier this month, not surprisingly the fans turned their attention to The Ashes and pulled my leg.
Regarding Australia’s chances in the World Cup, they are in a tough pool.
“We are strong contenders and our chances depend on the weather,” admitted the forthright Cree.
“We’ll be dangerous when it is dry, but in the wet, I think Australia will struggle.”
Now living with his wife Ellie in Brinsworth, Cree hopes he may be able to continue his university studies training him to teach autistic children in primary schools, but before he finds out if he can study at a local university, Cree is concentrating on rugby.
“ I’m looking forward to the challenge, I like the fact that Rotherham have strength in depth and it may help us that one of my friends from Brisbane-Adam Preocanin who’s a second row forward-is playing for Ealing Trailfinders, our first opponents in the league.”