Rugby Union: Fit again Josh returns for Titans

Titans Curtis Wilson makes a break during the 12-11 victory over Bedford in October. Pic: Steve Ellis.
Titans Curtis Wilson makes a break during the 12-11 victory over Bedford in October. Pic: Steve Ellis.
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Rotherham Titans, who are through to the quarter finals of the British and Irish Cup, include in their squad for tomorrow’s final Pool 3 match at Bedford, forward Josh Thomas-Brown who is fit to play his first game of the season.

Last spring’s signing from London Scottish suffered a serious neck injury during the pre-season game against Worcester Warriors and has not appeared since.

The second row forward thought at one stage that his professional career was over, but Thomas-Brown has responded well to several months of treatment and has worked hard during his recuperation so much so that coach Lee Blackett has selected him as one of the replacements.

Blackett and his squad will not know who their opponents will be in the quarter-finals, taking place at the beginning of April, until Monday January 27.

For the clash at Goldington Road where Rotherham have not won for eight years, Blackett has made a few changes to the side which thrashed Connacht a week ago.

In the back line, the Championship’s top points’ scorer, centre Juan Pablo Socino, regains his place after being rested against the Irish, and in the pack, Scottish prop Robin Hislop and hooker Tom Cruse both return.

In the second row, Ed Williamson has recovered from an eye injury and joins Dan Sanderson, and at the back of the scrum, Alfie To’oala faces a late fitness test before Blackett decides if he should play at number eight.

Meanwhile fit again fly half Garry Law has joined National Two North club Hull to gain some match sharpness after a serious thigh injury with an eye on returning to the Titans squad.

* Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Hayes, Socino, Keating, Murphy, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Williamson, Sanderson, Pearce, Birch, To’oala. Replacements: Sowrey, Williams, Quigley, Thomas-Brown, Rieder, Mulchrone, Roberts.