Titans ready for classic Yorkshire derby duel

Rotherham Titans Lee Blackett (head coach)
Rotherham Titans Lee Blackett (head coach)
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Rotherham’s coach Lee Blackett has made one change only to the Titans’ side for this Sunday’s derby against Leeds Carnegie at Headingley.

Without doubt, the clash between Rotherham and Leeds, third and fourth in the league, is one of the toughest away games the Clifton lane club face all season. The one change is in the pack and sees Ed Williamson replaced by Alfie To’oala at number eight. There is no question of Williamson being dropped; the influential player suffered a bang on the head during the win against Jersey a week ago.

“We are fortunate that we have strength in depth in the back row. To’oala is now over his hamstring injury,” explained Blackett.

“We go to Leeds as underdogs, but we are confident, we have a good squad which has come on since pre-season and have won five out of our six league games. The boys are focused and the training has had a real edge to it. Leeds are a good side and one of the favourites to go up. They have a strong pack, so the match is going to be a great test for us.

“Their back line is dangerous,too, and I can’t understand why such a good player as their full back Stevie McColl has not been picked up by a Premiership club” says Blackett.

If the weather is fine, Rotherham’s backs Sean Scanlon, Jamie Broadley, Jack Roberts, Juan Pablo Socino, Michael Keating, Dallan Murphy and Charlie Mulchrone will relish Headingley’s wide pitch. Leeds, coached by the former Super League and GB star, James Lowes, are five points behind the Titans in the Championship. They have won four league matches and have been beaten by Nottingham and London Welsh,the league leaders, who won 31-24 at Headingley last Sunday.

Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Roberts, Socino, Keating, Murphy, Mulchrone, Gadd, Cruse, Quigley, Thomas, Sanderson, Rieder, Birch, To’oala.

Replacements: Preece, Dias, Tampin, Maddison, Pearce, White, Gill.