Rotherham’s first home match of the new Championship season on Saturday against Plymouth Albion may well turn out to be a special occasion in the young professional career of 22-year-old Lloyd Hayes.
After making such a promising full league debut at full back during the convincing win at Bedford, Hayes is hoping he’ll be picked again from the start at Clifton Lane.
Now in his second season at Rotherham following two and a half years at Chester, the North Wales native has had to make an positional change.
“I’ve always played centre, but Lee Blackett, our coach, told me he’d be moving me to full back. Lee knows his stuff and I like the space you get playing at 15, so I’m happy to give it a try.
“Sean Scanlon, whose place I took at Bedford because he had an ankle injury, has been more than happy to help me and if I’m stuck, I’m not afraid to ask him.
“We may be competitors, but we are team-mates. Lee said he was happy with my performance at Bedford and I felt good, but I’m still learning about the positioning skills needed at full back.
“It was a great moment to be told I was starting. I was really proud and I felt comfortable against Bedford and thought I did what I was asked to do. I’m starting to like playing at 15, but you won’t get better until you get game-time.
“Because of the history between Rotherham and Bedford, it was great to achieve an away win and there was a real buzz on the coach home.”
Hayes’ potential was spotted before he’d signed forms to join the Titans. Selected to play against Aberavon in the British and Irish Cup at Clifton Lane in January last year-Hayes was on trial- he sparkled, scoring a try and having impressed with his all-round skills, Blackett offered him a contract.