Rotherham Titans, who are top of Pool Three in the British and Irish Cup, are predicting the hardest of matches against Llanelli when the Welsh club appear at Clifton Lane tomorrow (2pm).
The Principality Premiership side have made seven changes to their team which were beaten 20-16 by Rotherham at Llanelli a week ago.
“We face a massive challenge tomorrow. Llanelli were shocked to be beaten by us at home, so the side which we take on at Clifton Lane will be a lot better,” said Titans’ coach Lee Blackett.
“The Welsh will be on a revenge mission, but I am sure our young side will step up because they have in the past. As a club we are serious about going through to the knock-out stages of the British and Irish Cup which we have never done before.
“So we are really determined and going through is in our hands. Llanelli will be a tough ask for us and while we have been disappointed that we have not been finishing all our scoring opportunities, at least we are creating chances and we are on a good run of form.”
Blackett, who is keen to rotate his players, makes four changes to the side which won the first clash at Llanelli, all in the pack.
In the front row, hooker Ben Sowrey takes over from Tom Cruse and prop Colin Quigley replaces Mark Tampin;at the back of the scrum, Ali Birch and Alfie To’oala come in for Jack Preece and Toby Freeman.
There are no changes in the Rotherham back line which means that in the absence of injured fly halves Garry Law, who is seeing a specialist next week, and Dallan Murphy, Lloyd Hayes will continue in the number 10 position.
“ Lloyd can be satisfied with his performance in an unfamiliar role last week. He kicked his goals well and will carry on taking the kicks against Llanelli tomorrow,” said Blackett.
Interestingly, another of Rotherham’s younger players, wing-full back Ben Rath,who has been playing for Fylde, near Blackpool, in National One, is one of the replacements against Llanelli and is more than likely to make his Titans debut.
Rotherham Titans: Keating, Broadley, Gill, Roberts, Wilson, Hayes, White, Hislop, Sowrey, Quigley, Maddison, Thomas, Rieder, Birch, To’oala. Replacements: Cruse, Williams, Tampin, Freeman, Preece, Mulchrone, Rath.