Rotherham’s chances of success in the Championship derby against Yorkshire Carnegie at Clifton Lane tomorrow have been boosted by the return of centre Chris Harris from Premiership club Newcastle Falcons.
Harris joined the Titans at the start of the season as one of four on-loan players from Newcastle and instantly made a good impression in the five Championship games in which he played.
He also appeared for Rotherham against Ulster in the British and Irish Cup, but was then called back to Tyneside before Christmas and since then, Harris’s reputation has grown considerably.
He made his debut in the Premiership, scoring three tries in three appearances. Harris also performed promisingly during five games in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
With six tries in nine games for Newcastle Falcons since leaving Rotherham, in-form Harris reappears at Clifton Lane just at the right time for the Titans who need to regain momentum having won only two Championship games in the last six.
“We are delighted to have Chris back with us,” said Lee Blackett.
“He is dual registered, but I can’t say how long he is going to be here. Newcastle may want him to return to the North East, so we shall have to wait and see.
“Chris’s work rate is excellent as he showed when he was here earlier. He definitely has the X-factor about him.”
As Harris rejoins Rotherham, at least for the Yorkshire Carnegie clash, two of his Newcastle team-mates, forwards Sean Robinson and Ben Morris, will also be in the Titans’ line-up.
Blackett’s networking skills have also managed to secure the return of one of the three Rotherham players who signed for Worcester Warriors last summer.
Hooker Ben Sowrey,who has not been picked by his new club to play in any Championship games, is surprisingly one of the Titans’ replacements tomorrow.
Sowrey played 22 games for Rotherham last season having previously been a professional at Doncaster Knights.
“Worcester have agreed that Ben can come back on a short term basis and he may be available for our next game at Cornish Pirates,”says Rotherham’s coach.
“As regards Yorkshire Carnegie, it will be a massive test for us. With their squad they should be a top four club.
“They have one of the best scrums in the Championship, the facts show they have an excellent record for turning over the ball and their defence at the line out is good,”added Blackett.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Davies, Harris, Wilson, McKinney, White, Hislop, Cruse, Tampin, Maddison, Robinson, Rieder, Preece, Morris.
Replacements: Sowrey, Williams, Thiede, Holmes, Birch, Barrett, Cooke.