As Rotherham Titans go into their last home match of the season in tomorrow’s derby against Doncaster, several of the squad will be playing for their futures.
The Clifton Lane game, whose outcome is far more important to Doncaster because they still have a chance of reaching the semi-finals of the promotion Play-offs, is, significant for young Rotherham players, such as Scottish flanker Ross Doneghan and other forwards like Mark George, John Aikman and Simon Worrall, all of whom have been given the opportunity to develop and impress in the Play-offs.
It’s not known yet if coach Andre Bester will be offering contracts for next season to any of these young professionals, but if they show they have the character and the skills to perform well in the heat of a derby, they may be asked to stay at Clifton Lane.
Both flankers, Doneghan and Worrall, look the part; Doneghan was so keen to make it as a professional that he left Scotland (he is from Linlithgow near Glasgow) and joined a rugby academy in East London in South Africa.
The 22 year old former Stirling University student went on to play some provincial rugby for Border Bulldogs and now that Doneghan is back in the UK, his aim is to persuade Bester that he is mature enough to cope with the demands of the Championship.
Worrall has the same ambition, and given his background as a Super League player with Leeds, his professional experience in rugby league, where handling skills and tackling are so important, provides the qualities that Bester is seeking as he puts together a new squad.
When Worrall made his Championship debut for Rotherham in the promotion play-off against Doncaster at Castle Park last month, his impact was immediate.
n Rotherham Titans (from): M.James, Swatkins, Welding, Socino, Rhodes, Hodgson, Bedford, Harris, Loney, O’Donnell, Smidt, Doneghan, Baines, Burrows, George, Kilbane, Worrall, McMahon,S.James,Hampsey.