Rotherham Titans go into the penultimate round of the Greene King IPA Championship ready to face a stern test against county rivals Yorkshire Carnegie; kick-off at Clifton Lane on Saturday is 2pm.
Following their disappointing performance last week against London Scottish, relegated Titans will look to finish their home campaign with a flourish in the Yorkshire derby.
However, Carnegie themselves are in decent form and they will look to finish as high up the table as possible and having not lost to the South Yorkshire side for 3 years, they will feel confident of extending that run.
Going into the game Titans have made six changes to the starting XV which lost 49-14 to London Scottish last time out.
Along the backline Francisco Vieira comes in at scrum half for Rhodri Davies, Lee Millar starts at inside centre for Joe Barker and Drew Cheshire returns from injury and comes in on the wing for Ben Foley.
In the pack Tom Williams comes in at loose head for Toby Williams, dual-registered Matt Postlethwaite comes in at lock as Adam Peters moves into the back row for Charlie Maddison and Tom Burns starts at blind side for Dan Grange.
Speaking ahead of the match Titans Nic Rouse explained, “Last week against London Scottish I think it came down to the fact we were not good enough across the board. Attack wise we were ok; we could have done more, but our defensive effort was very poor and we couldn’t really get a grip in the game. The forwards dominated for large parts, but if you put in a defensive effort like we did you are always going to struggle and as a result we made it a little bit easy for them.
“We’ve got two games remaining and we want to make sure our performances are right, if we manage that then we are capable of finishing the season with two victories. This is our final home game of the season and we want to put in a good performance for our supporters. The fans deserve it because they’ve been absolutely fantastic all year.
“We know Carnegie are going to be a tough proposition, they’re physical up front and we’ll have to deal with that. They will pose us a lot of threats at scrum, line-out and maul time. We struggled up there earlier in the season and we know if we give them field position because of a lack of discipline they’ll kick for the corner and put us under a massive amount of pressure.
“Both teams are obviously going to be really up for the game; Carnegie will want to finish the season as high up the table as possible and they had a good result last week against Jersey which will have boosted their confidence. However if we can attack them in the way we have done in the last few months we can certainly pose them a few questions.”
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Drew Cheshire, 13 Jamie Cooke, 12 Lee Millar, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Caolan Ryan, 9 Francisco Vieira, 1 Tom Williams, 2 Luke Cole, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Rob Louw, 5 Matt Postlethwaite, 6 Tom Burns, 7 Adam Peters, 8 Tom Calladine (Capt.).
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Brandon Palmer, 18 Charlie Maddison, 19 Wesley Hamilton, 20 Joe Barker, 21 Toby Williams, 22 Ben Foley.