Rotherham Titans’ coach, Lee Blackett, is demanding a massive improvement from his team in tonight’s derby against Yorkshire Carnegie in the first round of the British and Irish Cup which is being played at the Silver Royd ground in Scalby, home of Scarborough rugby club (8pm).
After Rotherham were thrashed 47-7 by Worcester Warriors in the Championship at Clifton Lane last weekend, Blackett expects a return to form this evening and has made several changes to the side.
“The message we want to put out is that the boys are hurting from last Saturday’s result and we expect a reaction tonight. We are putting out our best available team which must be much more physical and harder than we were against Worcester.”
In the pack, two forwards, flanker Max Argyle and second row Sean Robinson, make their first starts for Rotherham as do backs, scrum half Andy Davies and winger Craig Dowsett.
Argyle, who is in his second season at Rotherham, began his career at Derby and has also played at Sheffield Tigers and Hull; Robinson, on a season’s loan from Premiership club Newcastle Falcons, would have played earlier this campaign, but was taken ill with appendicitis and was absent for a month.
Dowsett joined Titans from Loughborough Students who compete in National One and has played for Belgium at U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels.
Davies,on loan from Newcastle Falcons, has been used as a replacement in Championship games for Dan White and has impressed Blackett with his energy and commitment.
Hooker Tom Cruse captains the Titan in the absence of Tom Holmes, recovering from concussion.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Broadley, Gill, Roberts, Dowsett, McKinney, A. Davies, Gadd, Cruse, Tampin, Parker, Robinson, Argyle, Rieder, Morris. Replacements: Preece, Williams, Macklin, Birch, J. Davies, McGaffin, Barrett.