Rotherham Titans: Jones to shuffle

James McKinney
James McKinney

Rotherham Titans head coach Mark Jones is set to shuffle his pack for the all-important clash with Moseley in the British and Irish Cup this weekend.

Fly half James McKinney is likely to return to the side for the first time in a fortnight, boosting the Titans after their defeat at Moseley last weekend.

His return is part of his on-going recovery from a serious leg injury which ruled him out for six months until the trip to London Scottish two weeks ago.

Picking up match sharpness is seen as the final piece of the jigsaw of his recovery and McKinney’s inclusion is set to be among several changes from Jones.

“The line-up will show four or five changes I think which will include a few alterations in the pack,” Jones said.

“I’m tempted to bring back winger Michael Keating.

“We’ve had a good week with our training and the message is we’re going to do less talking and more doing.

“We’re not far away from being a very good side and the mood is optimistic.

“The goal now in the second half of the Championship season is to make sure we’re in the top four at the end of the normal league season.

“We’ve been working on getting four things right – scrums, line outs, defence and our kicking game.

“This squad is capable of playing attacking rugby as we showed in the cup at Ealing.

“I honestly believe we’re not a million miles away from repeating that.

“Looking ahead, after Moseley, we’ve got Yorkshire Carnegie in the league the Sunday after Christmas.

“Our preparations for that being on Tuesday and Wednesday next week and we’ll also train on Boxing Day.”

Scrum half Andy Davies is likely to replace Dan White in the Titans side.

Morale has not been adversely affected by three consecutive defeats to Jersey, London Scottosh and Moseley, where the Titans seldom showed their potential against a side whose league form has been indifferent.

The Birmingham outfit were nevertheless resilient and, in former Rotherham player-coach Kevin Maggs, possess one of the most shrewd rugby brains in the Championship and a man who would take great delight in winning at Clifton Lane on Sunday.

Pressure is on the Rotherham squad to deliver results and with league games at Headingley and at home to Cornish Pirates on January 2, the B&I Cup represents the perfect chance to return to form.

Joel Gill looks set to return to action in the new year. Currently on loan at Hull Ionians, Gill has shown no ill-effects from the leg injury which has kept him out for nine months.

Rotherham Titans from: Scanlon, Keating, Rath, Wilson, Barker, L Hayes, McKinney, Jones, Goodwin, Davies, Carter, White, Hislop, Cromie, Thiede, Tampin, C Maddison, Preece, Crane, Holmes, Salmon, B Maddison, Birch, Cree, Calladine, Argyle, Elliot, Gilmour.