Rotherham Titans, ninth in the Championship with two wins from six league games, turn their attention for the next two weeks to the British and Irish Cup.
Coach Justin Burnell today begins preparing his squad for the second South Yorkshire derby of the campaign, just a little more than a month since the first clash between the region’s two professional clubs at Castle Park on September 10th when Doncaster Knights won by 25-13.
The Clifton Lane game this Saturday may be seen as an opportunity to give players who’ve not appeared regularly in the Championship the chance to impress before the league resumes against Cornish Pirates at the end of this month.
It will also be interesting to see if Burnell picks any of the five Gloucester players whom he has signed on dual registered forms.
All five appeared in last Friday’s Championship game at Bedford Blues where Rotherham were unfortunate to lose 17-16 in a thriller.
The Titans’ efforts were rewarded deservedly with a losing bonus point which takes them on to 11 points in the Championship, the same as Nottingham and Ealing Trailfinders in 10th and 11th place. Richmond remain bottom (12th) and are still pointless.
“The Bedford game was tight and could have gone either way. Our work ethic at times was phenomenal and to nil Bedford in the second half when they played down the hill was incredible,” says Burnell.
“We have a young bunch of lads who are improving every single week. We are going in the right direction,” added Burnell.
As the Welshman decides on his squad, one of the injured players who may be fit to come back is number eight Buster Lawrence.
Other teams in Rotherham’s B&I group are Munster A and London Welsh.