Titans re-shuffle side for Esher

Rotherham Titans have re-shuffled their team ahead of the National 1 visit of Esher to Clifton Lane on Saturday; kick-off is 2pm.

Rotherham have made 3 personnel changes to their starting XV and a further 7 positional changes as they look to get back to winning ways following disappointing defeats in their last 2 outings against Sale FC and Loughborough Students.

Along the backline Dan Leake is the only player to retain the same numbered jersey. Sam Allan has recovered form injury and comes back into the team at full back, as Callum Irvine moves to fly half. That sees Joe Barker revert to inside centre as Harry Dunne moves to his outside and Jamie Cooke onto the wing. Connor Dever comes in at scrum half for Alex Dolly.

In the pack and behind an unchanged front row, Dan Preston-Routledge makes his first start since December 1st at lock. To make way Luis Ball moves to blindside as Tom Cotterill slides across to the openside; Zak Poole starts at number 8 in place of Seb Nagle-Taylor who drops to the bench. Tight head prop Rikki Stout will captain the side.

Looking ahead to the match Titans Joe Barker explained, “Having had plenty of time to look back at the Loughborough game, it left us feeling very frustrated. We actually created a lot of try-scoring opportunities, which in itself is positive, but our execution of those opportunities was poor and that’s what cost us, but there was no lack of effort from the boys.

“Our decision making at crucial moments in the game let us down and our clinical edge just wasn’t there on the day. Over the last week and a bit this is something we’ve worked hard on in training; it’s all well and good creating the opportunities, but if you don’t finish them off you’re not going to win too many games of rugby.

“We will need to be more clinical against Esher today if we are to get the right result. Having watched them recently we’ve seen them put in some good performances and achieved some good results and we know they are capable of beating anyone on their day.

“Any team that can go to Rosslyn Park and beat them can’t be a bad side and we know they’ve got some good players. They are a big side too, like most teams are in this division. So we know it’s going to be tough as we’re not one of the biggest sides in the league.

“However, we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves and focus on creating opportunities like we normally do, but we have to make sure we are clinical in finishing them off.”

Titans: 15 Sam Allan, 14 Dan Leake, 13 Harry Dunne, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Jamie Cooke, 10 Callum Irvine, 9 Connor Dever, 1 Dan Richardson, 2 Ali Thomson, 3 Rikki Stout (Capt.), 4 Dan Preston-Routledge, 5 Kieran Frost, 6 Luis Ball, 7 Tom Cotterill, 8 Zak Poole.

Replacements: 16 Jack Bergmanas, 17 Will Dennis, 18 Jamie Ure, 19 Seb Nagle-Taylor, 20 Alex Dolly.

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