Rugby Union: It’s all change for Titans as old boy returns

Alfie Tooala has rejoined Rotherham Titans.
Alfie Tooala has rejoined Rotherham Titans.
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A week before Rotherham’s first pre-season game against Premiership club Worcester Warriors, Titans coach Lee Blackett has strengthened his squad further by recruiting another forward and an additional winger.

Experienced Premiership forward and former Rotherham favourite Alfie Tooala has agreed to re-join the Clifton Lane side.

Tooala, aged 32 and capped by Samoa, first played for Rotherham in 2001 and then went on to appear successfully in the Premiership for Bristol, Leeds and latterly London Welsh.

He made his reputation as a back row forward, but is likely now to switch to prop.

“The time I spent at Rotherham was the happiest in my career. I loved it here and I am delighted to be back,” explained Tooala, who has been training with Titans for more than a week and has been receiving special instruction from the Titans’ front row coach Micky Ward.

Rotherham’s coach Blackett, who has recruited more than 20 new players, is thrilled that Tooala has chosen to return.

“Alfie is an unbelievable ball carrier and he puts dents in defences,” he said. “It takes a brave man to run at him and now that Alfie is back there is a real buzz here.”

Blackett’s other signing is Will Robinson following a successful trial spell at the club. He first came to Blackett’s notice when he made a brief appearance for Rotherham last season in the British and Irish Cup against Aberavon. He was then playing for Scunthorpe.