Rotrherham Titans to field strong side for tough B&I Cup test against Leinster

James McKinney: Should come on in the second half
James McKinney: Should come on in the second half

Rotherham Titans will be putting out a full strength side to take on Leinster A in their opening game of the British and Irish Cup at Clifton Lane tomorrow (2pm).

The Titans are resisting the temptation to rest several regular first team regulars to avoid the risk of injury with the Championship campaign resuming in two weeks.

Coach Mark Jones, delighted with the performance and result on Sunday at Nottingham, is aware of how competitive Leinster will be, so takes the view there is no point fielding a weaker side.

Leinster,based in Dublin, regularly produce outstanding young players, many of whom go on to appear for Ireland in the Six Nations and for Leinster in Europe’s top club competition.

Leinster won the B and I Cup in consecutive seasons from 2012-2014, and on their last visit to Clifton Lane beat Rotherham by 51-32, scoring seven tries.

“ The Cup is an important competition for us and Leinster are the best A side in the whole of Europe,” says Jones.

“They have some very skilful backs and the forwards are most effective in the line outs and scrums. So we expect a tough afternoon.”

With the Championship restarting against Jersey at Clifton Lane in a fortnight, Ulster fly half James McKinney is now available having been out for more than six months with a leg injury.

McKinney is named as one of the replacements and is expected to be sent on at some stage in the second half for his first game since being hurt in the South Yorkshire derby in April at Clifton Lane.

The fact that such a major player is now fit again is significant as regards Rotherham’s prospects in both the Cup and the Championship as is the quality revealed at Nottingham by Canadian international, flanker Kyle Gilmour who should make his Clifton Lane debut tomorrow.

Rotherham Titans (from): Scanlon, Rath, Hayes, Barker, Keating, Jones, Carter, Cromie, Preece, Thiede, Holmes, B.Maddison, Argyle, Calladine, Cree, Hislop, Tampin, C.Maddison, Oram, Gilmour,A. Davies, McKinney, Wilson, White, Birch.