Third-place Titans try to keep up with League leaders

Rotherham Titans Head Coach, Lee Blackett
Rotherham Titans Head Coach, Lee Blackett
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Rotherham Titans, who have lost consecutive league games at Leeds and Bristol, make six changes for tomorrow’s match against Nottingham at Clifton Lane (2pm.)

In the pack, flanker Jack Preece is selected in place of Ed Williamson who suffered a bang to the head at Bristol and will be rested for two weeks, and in the front row, prop Colin Quigley replaces Mark Tampin.

The other change in the forwards made by coach Lee Blackett is at the back of the scrum where Laurence Pearce, a constant menace to opponents this season, is picked ahead of Alfie To’oala. In the Rotherham back-line, centre Joel Gill comes in for Jack Roberts, winger Curtis Wilson is preferred to James Broadley and at fly half Dallan Murphy returns, subject to a fitness test.

Another player who will be tested before kick off is hooker Tom Cruse who is trying to recover from a dead leg. Joel Hodgson,the Newcastle Falcons fly half who played for Rotherham at Bristol because of Murphy’s hamstring injury, has been recalled by the Premiership club, but it is thought he may return to Clifton Lane next week.

The same position applies to the Scottish prop Robin Hislop who impressed in the second half at the Memorial Stadium.

He, too,has been recalled by his club, Edinburgh, but as with Hodgson, Hislop could return to the Titans next week as they prepare for the clash on Friday at Plymouth. Tomorrow’s game in which Rotherham start in third place in the Championship on 25 points, behind Bristol and London Welsh, has grown in importance after Titans failed to earn any points in the away games at Headingley and Bristol. Blackett’s side should be confident because Nottingham’s start to the league campaign has been less than satisfactory for a club which is normally challenging for a place in the top four.

The Meadow Lane side did, though, beat Plymouth last weekend in a close game during which full back Matt Jarvis kicked five penalties.

Nottingham, ninth in the league table on 13 points with a record of three wins and five defeats, have also beaten Leeds and Bedford.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Gill, Socino, Wilson, Murphy, Mulchrone, Gadd, Cruse, Quigley, Maddison, Sanderson, Birch, Preece, Pearce.

Replacements: Sowrey, Dias, Tampin, Thomas, To’oala, White, Roberts.