Sheffield Tigers head coach insists Rotherham Titans clash should not be a derby

Sheffield Tigers head coach Jamie Broadley insists Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby against Rotherham Titans is nothing of the sort - but welcomes a 'free hit'.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 5:29 pm

A disastrous few years saw the Titans, who competed in the Premiership in the 2003/04 season, relegated to the fourth tier of English rugby union in 2020.

They are the overwhelming favourites for promotion this season but, while still unbeaten, they haven’t had it all their own way and are currently joint-second alongside Hull behind leaders Sedgley Park.

Rotherham should never have been in this league and we have never seen them as competitors,” said Broadley, who played professionally for Roth, then in the second tier, from 2013 to 2016.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Sheffield Tigers head coach Jamie Broadley insists Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby against Rotherham Titans is nothing of the sort.

"It’s interesting with them because they have got their superstar squad but they are not necessarily turning that into superstar performances.

"They aren’t the runaway league leaders they expected themselves to be and we expected they might be.

"The game probably sits a bit differently for the players than the fans. That being said, we would like to stick one over on them.

"We’re putting the best team we have got out but that’s a long way from the team we would have picked if we have everyone available.

A disastrous few years saw the Titans, who competed in the Premiership in the 2003/04 season, relegated to the fourth tier of English rugby union in 2020. Photo: Tony Johnson.

"We’re definitely seeing it as a free hit and there’s no pressure on us.”

If circumstances had been different, Saturday’s clash at Clifton Lane might have seen Broadley, who combines his coaching duties with playing, lining up in the home dugout, or possibly even in a Rotherham shirt.

The Tigers’ talisman was courted by Roth when Steve Salvin left the club last month, but a move was not feasible owing to his work commitments and they eventually opted for Adam Byron, formerly of Sheffield RUFC.

The head of health and wellbeing at international service company Serco said: "It’s definitely not something I’m closed to and I borrow an awful lot from the sporting world in my day job but it’s a difficult jump to make.

"There are some structural challenges in the sport that make it quite difficult to get into those high-power roles without being willing to sit in those lower ones for a decade or so.

"I think my opportunity back into that high-level sporting world would be more around the consulting and player wellbeing given my job experience.”