Sean Robinson, aged 24 and one the best young forwards in the north, is the surprising but welcome inclusion in the Rotherham Titans’ side for the huge challenge tomorrow against Championship leaders Worcester Warriors at Sixways.
Robinson, who is dual registered at Premiership club Newcastle Falcons and Rotherham, has spent most of the season on Tyneside having returned to the North East after a few games for the Titans. The second row quickly made an impression at Rotherham for whom he played once in the Championship in November and twice in the British and Irish Cup before Christmas.
On his return to Newcastle Falcons, Robinson’s growing ability and potential ensured his section for one game in the Premiership; he also played four matches in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and twice in the LV=Cup.
So when Newcastle’s coach, Dean Richards, told Rotherham earlier this week that Robinson would be available for the Worcester game, understandably the Clifton Lane club were delighted. Rotherham coach Lee Blackett said: “Newcastle have been great with us all season and for us to have such a high quality player available for such a big game is a real boost.
“Sean is not involved at the Falcons this weekend and as you’d expect he has fitted in really well here. We have trained positively this week and the players always enjoy playing in the big matches, particularly ones that are on television.
“Worcester have had some excellent results recently and have put together some big scores and we know how tough it will be, but if we deny them the ball like Doncaster did we will compete.”
In the pack,Robinson combines with Barney Maddison in the second row, a knee injury to skipper and lock Tom Holmes prevents him making the starting line-up, and Holmes needs to pass a late fitness test if he is to be included as one of the replacements.
Mark Cooke, another dual registered player-in his case with Bristol-keeps his place in the backs, alongside Lloyd Hayes who replaces Jordan Davies.
As the injured Holmes will not be starting, the Titans will be captained by hooker Tom Cruse at Sixways where it would be a major shock if they were to win.
Interestingly, the selection of Robinson may just be a sign of the good luck that Rotherham require: in the three games in which he appeared earlier in the season, Robinson was on the winning side in all three..against Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship and then twice in the B and I Cup against the Headingley club and Ulster Ravens.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Hayes, Cooke, Wilson, McKinney, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Maddison, Robinson, Argyle, Rieder, Morris.
Replacements: Preece, Williams, Thiede, Holmes, Ryan, Barrett, Davies.