Rugby Union: Titans close in on quintet

Rotherham Titans coach Lee Blackett in action
Rotherham Titans coach Lee Blackett in action
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Rotherham Titans, who have already signed more than 20 players for the next Championship season, will announce tomorrow the names of another five new recruits that have agreed to join the Clifton Lane club.

“These are ambitious, young players from the North of England, some of whom have been on the books of academies in the Premiership,” said Rotherham’s new coach Lee Blackett.

“We think they are likely to want to stay at Rotherham for three or four years which will give us the stability we need.I am delighted with the quality of the players who are coming.

“Recruitment of a new back line is almost complete and when it comes to the pack, we are a couple of positions short.We are still looking for a forwards’ coach and possibly the person we would wish to sign is someone who has just finished playing in the Premiership and is of a similar age,that is in his 30s, to me and is looking to coach.”

Meanwhile, Blackett is confident that back row forward, Toby Freeman, will be remaining at the Titans, but is keen to stress that he is still in the market for players who can play at the back of the scrum.

The Titans back division next season is expected to be one of the most exciting in the Championship.

The signings of Queensland Reds’ fly half, Dallan Murphy, winger/full back Michael Keating from Doncaster Knights and the return of former Rotherham centre, Juan Pablo Socino from Argentina, and Irish full back Shaun Scanlon, show the style of attacking rugby Blackett wishes to play.

“Our aim is to produce attractive and competitive rugby, but I am not setting any goals other than to win our first game; however if we can finish above seventh, our position this season, I would be thrilled,” he said.

“Dallan is a high quality number 10 and we are excited about what he can bring to the club. I am sure he will cause a real threat to the oppostion. He wants to come over to England prove himself in the Championship.

“As regards Keating, he is an outstanding back and was man of the match for Doncaster in their recent game against Nottingham.”

Keating, who has appeared for Ireland U-20s and Leinster U-20s, continues the trend Rotherham have established of signing players from Ireland along with Ali Birch, a flanker from Ulster.