ROTHERHAM TITANS: Andre Bester rings the changes ahead of Plymouth trip

editorial image
Have your say

Injuries to forwards Latu Makaafi and Barney Maddison, and his desire to rotate the Rotherham squad, has led coach Andre Bester into making changes to the Titans’ team who take on Plymouth in tonight’s Championship game at Brickfields.

Flanker Carl Kirwan takes over at the back of the scrum from Makaafi who broke his collar bone during last Saturday’s win against Jersey.

The Tongan will be out for at least eight weeks. Lock Maddison, who hurt his knee in the same match, sees his place in the pack go to Dan Sanderson.

Bester has made other changes in the forwards whose opponents tonight have started their league campaign well, winning three out of four games.

Prop Jamie Kilbane comes back into the front row instead of Shane Cahill who is on the bench and hooker Dan Baines gives way to Ted Stagg.

Bearing in mind Rotherham’s injuries, Bester is delighted that back row forward Toby Freeman has recovered from his shoulder problem and is ready to resume playing at Plymouth, who are third in the Championship table on 14 points, one more than Rotherham in fourth place.

Freeman begins at number eight and wins his place back at the expense of Rory Pitman.

Rotherham’s defence should be improved now that centre Lee Blackett returns to the side. Having recovered from leg injury, Blackett rejoins Palepoi Nonu in the Titans’ back line.

Interestingly, after four successful games in the league, fly half James McKinney is rested as the Ulsterman’s position in the starting line-up is taken by Garry Law who was in outstanding form against Jersey.

Scottish winger Michael Doneghan, recruited from Glasgow Warriors, keeps his place after a try scoring debut last Saturday.

Plymouth is not Rotherham’s favourite venue, and with wins against Moseley, Leeds and Doncaster, the Devon club are playing confidently, but having surprised the Championship by winning at Nottingham, Rotherham are strong enough to win tonight.