Let’s improve our discipline, says Blackett

Rotherham Titans head coach Lee Blackett.

Rotherham Titans head coach Lee Blackett.

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Rotherham Titans’ coach, Lee Blackett, has made one major change to the team to face Bedford Blues tomorrow as the Clifton Lane club seek to end a poor run at home of three consecutive defeats.

Fly half Tom Barrett makes his full Championship debut in place of Ulsterman James McKinney who has been the first choice number 10 since the start of the season.

Barrett, who joined Rotherham from National One club , has had to be content with being used as a replacement, although he has started in some of the British and Irish Cup games.

Now Barrett, who has appeared in eight Championship matches, all as a substitute, now has opportunity to play a highly influential role against Bedford who must be beaten at Clifton Lane if Rotherham are to regain the momentum needed to confirm a place in the promotion play-offs.

The league table below current the top four could not be closer; going into tomorrow’s contest, Rotherham, who have dropped to fifth mainly because of recent indiscipline, are on 27 points whereas Bedford, one place behind in the Championship, are sixth on 26.

“All week we have been concentrating on getting rid of our indiscipline which has been so costly,”Blackett said.

“We have carried out a detailed analysis of when, where and how we have been giving away penalties and yellow cards. This has shown that we would have won the games against Bristol, Yorkshire Carnegie, Moseley and Nottingham if we had not been so indisciplined and given away so many points.

“So, I am disappointed with our disciplinary record and now we must concentrate 100 per cent in the remaining 11 Championship matches.

Blackett, meanwhile, has confirmed that centre Jack Roberts, who signed for Premiership club Leicester Tigers in November, has now become a dual-registered player. This means that Roberts will play tomorrow and then against Leinster, a week on Saturday, in the quarter final of the British and Irish Cup at Clifton Lane.

He may then return to Leicester for the LV=Cup fixture against Northampton Saints at the end of the month, but Rotherham are hoping that Roberts will come back for several Championship games after that.

Rotherham Titans: Hayes, Keating, Davies, Roberts, Scanlon, Barrett, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Maddison, Holmes, Argyle, Preece, Rieder.

Replacements: Birch, Gadd, Thiede, Parker, Morris, McKinney, Dowsett.