Titans could be playing at Oakwell next season

Rotherham Titans
Rotherham Titans
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Rotherham Titans are expected to announce within the next 24 hours the football ground where they will play next season if they win promotion to the Premiership.

The favourite would appear to be Barnsley’s home, Oakwell,but Rotherham officials have also been exploring the possibilities of playing at Mansfield Town’s ground, the One Call Stadium.

Both venues have been visited by Titans chairman Nick Cragg who has held detailed talks with both football clubs on ground sharing.

He said: “The point is we have got a ground should we go up. We will shortly announce which one we have chosen and it will be because that stadium is in the best commercial interests of Rotherham Titans.”

Rotherham, currently third in the Championship, will contest the promotion play-offs in the springif they finish in the top four, and they must inform the RFU next month where they would play Premiership games if they go up.

The facilities at Clifton Lane are not up to Premiership standards, but if they played at Oakwell,Titans would remain in South Yorkshire which is convenient for their supporters.

Meanwhile, Rotherham face promotion rivals London Scottish, fifth in the league, at Clifton Lane tomorrow in what has become a game of genuine significance following Titans’ heavy defeat by London Welsh last Sunday.

The squad has been boosted by the return of fly half Joel Hodgson, on loan from Premiership club, Newcastle Falcons.

The talented number 10,whose last appearance in the Championship was against Bedford on Boxing Day, takes the place of Dallan Murphy in a starting line-up which sees second row Josh Thomas-Brown making his full Championship debut for the Titans against his former club.

Scrum half Charlie Mulchrone is back as skipper and the pack is strengthened by the return from a back injury of flanker Jack Preece.

Curtis Wilson is preferred on the left wing at the expense of Michael Keating who is one of the replacements.

“We are delighted that Hodgson is back with us but his availability is still on a week by week basis. The boys are really hungry to recover from the London Welsh result, they have trained well this week and are determined to put in a top class performance against Scottish.

“Potentially, they are a top four club with the squad to match, so this is a massive challenge for us,” explains coach Lee Blackett.

Two danger men in the London Scottish side Rotherham need to mark tightly are winger Miles Mantella,the Championship’s top try scorer on 14,and flanker Mark Bright who has touched down nine times.

Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Roberts, Socino, Wilson, Hodgson, MulchroneHislop, Sowrey, Quigley, Thomas-Brown, Sanderson, Rieder, Preece, To’oala.

Replacements:Cruse, Gadd, Tampin, Birch, White, Murphy, Keating.