As Rotherham Titans put the finishing touches to their preparations for their home game against leaders Bristol tomorrow, two of their best players have announced they are leaving at the end of season.
Forwards Dan Sanderson and Ben Sowrey have signed for Premiership side Worcester Warriors and join scrum half Charlie Mulchrone there. Coach Lee Blackett, meanwhile, has been trying to sign replacements to cover for injured forwards Barney Maddison,Ben Thomas and Laurence Pearce. Tom Cruse will also be missing for three weeks with a leg injury, so Rotherham’s injuries have worsened at a crucial stage of the season.
The return of winger, Michael Keating, is the only change to the Rotherham side for the clash against Bristol (4.45 pm.)
Tomorrow’s game - the first time in Rotherham’s history that a home match has been broadcast live on TV - has cost the club around £20,000 to install floodlights.
Local firms, Parseq and Pyronix, have helped to finance the lighting.
“These Rotherham companies have been outstanding and were there for the Titans when we needed them,” explained Rotherham chairman, Nick Cragg.
If Rotherham, third in the league, were to beat the Championship’s current leaders, it would be the first time in the present campaign they have toppled a team in the top four.
“The game is a special event for the club and there is no doubt as to the quality of Bristol. They get a lot of ball and it will be a big test for us and it will show us what stage we have reached,” said Blackett.
“We have trained really well this week, they boys have had a break and are in good spirits and what we have to do is to make sure we are not as soft as we were when we met Bristol at their place in November,” added Blackett.
Bristol arrive at Clifton Lane aiming to achieve their seventh consecutive win in the Championship, but first team coach, Sean Holley, warns:
“Everyone is looking to knock us off our perch and we know how tough it is going to be at Rotherham who are a good side.
“We are going to use the league game as preparation for the quarter final of the British and Irish Cup when we play Rotherham again at the beginning of April.”
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Roberts, Socino, Keating, Murphy, Mulchrone, Hislop, Sowrey, Quigley, Thomas-Brown, Sanderson, Rieder, Preece, To’oala.