Rotherham Titans go into their re-arranged round 17 fixture of the Greene King IPA Championship on Saturday expecting to be fully tested when they travel to the capital to take on high-flyers Ealing Trailfinders; kick-off at Vallis Way is 3pm.
Rotherham go into the game still smarting from a last kick of the match defeat to Bedford Blues last time out, after putting in a terrific second half effort to level the scores at 15 apiece late on at Clifton Lane.
Titans form since the turn of the year has been encouraging and whilst it’s still mathematical possible for the South Yorkshire side to avoid relegation, they will believe they can.
Ealing have enjoyed a hugely successful campaign and will feel, had certain decisions gone their way in the two games against Bristol, they would probably be sitting top of the pile right now.
Going into the game Rotherham have made 4 changes to the starting XV that lost to Bedford last time out, three of which come in the back line.
Caolan Ryan moves from full back to fly half as Lee Millar drops to the bench, allowing Ben Foley to fill the number 15 shirt. Jake Henry comes in on the wing for Will Thomas and Joe Barker returns from injury and will play in the centres replacing Jamie Cooke.
In the pack Adam Peters moves from the back row into the second row for the injured James Lasis, with Dan Grange getting the nod at blindside flanker.
Speaking ahead of the match Titans Nic Rouse explained, “Having had a couple of weeks off the boys are fairly fresh going into the game and our preparations have gone well this week.
“We know quite a bit about Ealing having played them three times already this season, so we know they’re a great side. They pushed Bristol all the way recently and we’re under no illusions about what we have to face when we go down there.
“They’ve got a good pack of forwards and if we let them get clean ball from the line out their centres can cause us problems and once they get over the gain line you are on the back foot. So it’s important that we put them under pressure at the set piece
“However, I feel we are improving and getting better and I believe there are opportunities to attack them, as you find with most sides, and if we go there in the right frame of mind with the intension of taking them on I think we can make it really hard for them and that’s all we can do.”
Titans: 15 Ben Foley, 14 Drew Cheshire, 13 Joe Barker, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Caolan Ryan, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Jonny Murphy, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Rob Louw, 5 Adam Peters, 6 Dan Grange, 7 Charlie Maddison, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Luke Cole, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Brandon Palmer, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Will Thomas, 21 Will Porter, 22 Lee Millar.