Round 15 of the Greene King IPA Championship sees Rotherham Titans travel to Richmond where they will look to build on their recent good form by making it four wins on the bounce; kick-off on Saturday at the Athletic Ground is 2pm.
Titans 27-24 victory over Cornish Pirates last time out gave them their first league win of the season at the fourteenth attempt. This followed two B&I Cup victories over Richmond and Connacht Eagles, meaning Titans registered 3 consecutive wins for the first time since April 2015.
With Titans rooted to the bottom of the table, 20 points adrift of London Scottish and Hartpury, there is no room for error and Rotherham must come away from the capital with a win if they are to retain any hope of survival.
However, Richmond with 6 Championship victories to date are a dangerous, physical side, as their victories this term over Jersey, Yorkshire Carnegie and Doncaster Knights go to show.
Going into the game Titans have made just one change to the starting XV that beat Cornish Pirates, with Luke Cole coming at hooker for Jonny Murphy who drops to the bench.
Speaking ahead of the match Titans head coach Nic Rouse explained, “It’s been great to string a few wins together, but we’re not getting carried away and our feet are firmly planted on the ground. All we can do as a group is take it one game at a time and give it our best shot on the day.
“We have been improving over the last 4 weeks and we are particularly pleased with our performances on the field. It’s been a real collective effort by the lads, but Jamie Cooke has enjoyed a good three weeks as has Drew Cheshire who’s been scoring a lot of tries.
“Up front Rob Louw has had a great month, Luke Cole and Jonny Murphy are pushing each other very hard for the hooker’s jersey and that has lifted their performances and the three lads in the back row have been outstanding.
“On the back of recent results there is a big buzz around the place, the boys have seen their progression over the last month and they’re really looking forward to the Richmond game.
“Richmond are a team that focus very much on their defence and they kick a lot of ball. So we’ll need to be good with our returns, we’ll need to match them up front and we’ll need to take our opportunities when they arrive.”
Titans: 15 Caolan Ryan, 14 Drew Cheshire, 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Will Thomas, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Luke Cole, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Rob Louw, 5 James Lasis, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Charlie Maddison, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Tom Burns, 20 Rory Jennings, 21 Ben Foley, 22 Jake Henry.