Rotherham Titans go into round 10 of the Greene King IPA Championship having made three changes to their starting XV for the visit of London Scottish to Clifton Lane; kick-off on Saturday is 2pm.
On the back of a disappointing home defeat to Jersey Reds last time out, Rotherham are still searching for their first Championship success of the season, having lost all 9 league games to date as they languish at the bottom of the pile.
Rotherham will no doubt see the visit of eleventh placed London Scottish as an opportunity to kick-start their season with a victory and in doing so narrow the points gap to their Exiled opponents. However, Titans will be aware Scottish will travel with confidence following their impressive bonus-point victory over Cornish Pirates last weekend.
Going into the game Titans have been delivered a selection headache after three senior players picked up injuries during the Jersey game, which means at full back Will Thomas returns as Ben Foley moves onto the wing for the injured Jake Henry (shoulder). In the centres Logan Tibbetts will make his full debut for the injured Luke Peters (ankle) and in the pack Tom Burns comes back into the side at number 8 for Ifereimi Boladau who has broken his arm.
Commenting ahead of the game, head coach Andy Key said, “Some things aren’t going our way at the moment, it’s not about looking for lady-luck, but everybody needs that in sport at some stage and we’re not getting the rub of the green at times which is a bit disappointing.
“However, at the end of the day we can only control the controllables. For us at the moment we are doing it well at times, but not well enough, consistently enough, at the right times.
“I think we did let ourselves down last week against Jersey; the squad recognised that and they put their hands up. They were very honest with themselves in the huddle afterwards and again this week they’ve been massively honest.
“However, we’ve dusted ourselves down and we’ve had a very good week with our preparations and we’ll go into the London Scottish game revitalised, re-energised and ready to take on a good side.
“We have high regard for London Scottish; we’ve seen from their games how they can pick up bonus points in close games and we’ve seen the games that they have won and we’ve got a reasonable understanding of them. We’re under no illusions that they’ll be pressure on us, but by the same token, we know that a win either way helps both sides.
“They’ve got a good line out and drive, they’ve got a very good 10 who organises things in Jake Sharp who I know from my Bedford days and they’ve got good hard runners in the centres with pace outside. I know Dave Morris (DOR) from his Loughborough days, so I understand a little bit about how his side will look to play.
“I think the game will probably be won by the side which takes its opportunities when they arrive, but at the same time I think defence is going to play a big part in terms of stopping the opposition from controlling the game and stopping the opposition from having territorial advantage and that will be the key.”
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Ben Foley, 13 Yiannis Loizias, 12 Logan Tibbetts, 11 Drew Cheshire, 10 Caolan Ryan, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Tom Williams, 2 Luke Cole, 3 Matt Shields, 4 Adam Peters, 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 7 Charlie Maddison, Tom Burns.
Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Toby Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Dan Grange, 21 Lee Millar, 22 Wesley Hamilton.