Squad men to press claims for Titans in British and Irish Cup

Up for it: Titans and Esher compete at a lineout in the Championship clash at Castle Park.       Picture: Alan Janaszek/PhotoPro Images
Up for it: Titans and Esher compete at a lineout in the Championship clash at Castle Park. Picture: Alan Janaszek/PhotoPro Images
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Rotherham Titans, resuming their campaign in the British and Irish Cup at Clifton Lane this afternoon against Nottingham, will field several squad players, who do not play regularly in league games.

Fly half Cliffie Hodgson, who was taken off after 32 minutes in the home Championship win over Esher on Saturday, will be starting in the No 10 role as coach Andre Bester makes many changes.

Hodgson will be partnered at half back by scrum half Dave Marshall who joined Rotherham from Nottingham in the close season.

Bester has a high opinion of Marshall and it will be of interest to see if he grabs the opportunity to stamp his authority on the contest.

Another player keen to show his potential is winger Ed Tellwright who is on trial at Rotherham. Bester is impressed with Tellwright’s pace, and if the Sale winger continues the promise he has revealed in training, it’s thought he could be offered a contract.

In the pack, one forward who is glad to be returning to competitive action is Scottish second row Neale Patrick who was injured in the league game against Nottingham at Meadow Lane at the end of last month.

Patrick missed the Esher match to give his neck injury the maximum time to recover, but now that he is ready to resume playing, Bester wants the Scotsman to prepare this afternoon in a competitive setting before the Championship clash at league leaders London Welsh on Saturday.

Rotherham’s previous outing in the British and Irish Cup against Leeds Carnegie may well have resulted in a 17-3 defeat at Headingley last month, but in a losing cause No 8 Carl Kirwan stood out.

The ex-Middlesbrough and Newcastle Academy forward, another new signing who has the potential to develop into a decent Championship player, makes his second appearance for the Titans this afternoon.

Titans: Du Randt, Tellwright, McMahon, Brierley, Homan, Hodgson, Marshall, Cahill, White, Stout, Harris, Patrick, Noonan, Maddison, Kirwan. Reps: Godfrey, Rhodes, Hooper, Stagg, Dickinson, Wade, Bester.