Rotherham Titans’ coach, Lee Blackett,has welcomed the temporary move to Abbeydale, Sheffield RUFC’s ground, which will stage the Yorkshire derby against Leeds Carnegie a week on Saturday and the home leg of the promotion play-offs in May.
The Titans are having to play at least two games in Sheffield because the club’s Clifton Lane ground is shared with Rotherham Town Cricket Club who take over the facilities a week today at the start of the new season.
“When I was a student at Sheffield Hallam we played at Abbeydale for three years and I then coached at the university for a further five years, so I know the set-up well,” says Blackett.
“The conditions are excellent and the Abbeydale pitch is wide which will suit our style of play. We are happy to be playing there.
“I am sure our fans will support us at Abbeydale because this group of Rotherham players have worked so hard this season and deserve a good send-off.
“We are frustrated we can’t play our last home match at Clifton Lane which is sad for the players, the town and the fans.
“Everyone worked extremely hard to get the issue resolved, but we couldn’t, and now that we are at Abbeydale,and Sheffield RUFC have made us really welcome, we must re-create the Clifton Lane atmosphere.”
Rotherham, third in the Championship, have three games remaining to be certain of securing a place in the promotion play-offs, at Cornish Pirates on Sunday, the Sky game against Leeds and at Ealing in three weeks.
Six players who missed Friday’s defeat at Bristol in the quarter finals of the B and I Cup should return to face Pirates. They are injury victims Dallan Murphy, Garry Law and prop Robin Hislop plus cup-tied trio Tom Holmes, Ben Morris and Jordan Davies.