Rotherham Titans: Cornish Pirates clash could bring debut for Darran Harris

Darran Harris
Darran Harris

New Rotherham Titans hooker Darran Harris could be set for his debut on Sunday at Cornish Pirates.

The former Scarlets man has missed the Titans’ first two Championship games of the season due to an ankle injury suffered in pre-season training.

But he has made good progress and it is thought coach Mark Jones is keen to see Harris make his first Championship appearance sooner rather than later.

The Welsh forward – who has been capped by Wales at U20 level – was signed by Rotherham’s previous coach Lee Blackett in April.

Recruited because of his long term potential and his pace, Harris – who started his career at Pontypridd – played more than 40 times for Llanelli in the last two seasons.

There is strong competition at Clifton Lane as to who is going to be the first choice hooker this season. As well as Harris, Jones can also select Jack Preece – who has moved from the back row to hooker – and another new signing, Charlie Maddison.

As Jones decides on his squad to take on Cornish Pirates in third league game of the new campaign, he may well include Harris who is desperate to play.

Following the disappointing 20-11 defeat last weekend against Yorkshire Carnegie, the Titans’ coach and his team are determined to put right the errors that contributed to their downfall.

The long trip to Cornwall makes the Pirates clash arguably the hardest league game of the season, but Rotherham can seek inspiration from their excellent performance at Penzance in March where, live on Sky Sports, they won 28-10 in one of their best displays during the 2014-15 campaign.

Like Rotherham, Pirates have won one and lost one of their opening games: beating Nottingham 18-14 and then losing 17-15 at Jersey.

Armed traditionally with a powerful pack of forwards, Pirates are often difficult to overcome at home and in their preparations for this weekend, they will have noticed that Rotherham conceded two tries on Sunday from line outs close to their own line, a weakness that Jones and forwards coach Steve Salvin are working hard to rectify.