RFU Championship News

Friday Feb 24

24th February 2012

 
 

RFU Championship News Friday 24th February 2012

Round 22

Friday 24 February 2012
Bristol 52-26 Doncaster, 19:45

Saturday 25 February 2012
Bedford v Nottingham, 14:00
Cornish Pirates v Moseley, 14:00
Esher v Plymouth Albion, 14:00
London Welsh v Leeds Carnegie, 12:30
Rotherham Titans v London Scottish, 14:00

RFU Preview

 

RFU Round 22 Preview

Competition in the Championship is stepping up a pace as the regular season prepares to draw to a close. Five of the six games played in Round 21 of 22 ended with a bonus point being to the losing side, with only Bedford preventing a clean sweep of 'close contests' courtesy of a nine- point win away to Moseley.

Round 22 sees a reverse of the opening weekend of fixtures with Cornish Pirates at home to a Moseley side that held them to a 27- all draw at Billesley Common in early September. Pirates are neck- and- neck with Bedford in pursuit of the three points they would take into the play- offs as a result of finishing second.

Bedford are at home to Nottingham in a game that pits together two sides that have conceded the majority of their tries after half- time. Fatigue may play a factor, too, with the Green & Whites one of four sides playing their third game in less than a week following rearranged midweek fixtures.

There is still plenty to play for at the bottom end of the table where every win is precious.

A point is in the relegation play- offs for each win picked up during the regular season and Esher did their chances of survival no harm with a third win of the season at Leeds on Sunday. They will be determined to improve that tally further on Saturday, and strike a psychological blow at the same time, with victory over Pool C rivals Plymouth.

Stage 2 Ranking

Ahead of the conclusion of Stage One of the RFU Championship this weekend, the procedure should two teams finish on equal standing is as follows:
a) if two or more clubs finish Stage One on equal competition points, then the order in which they rank will be determined by:
i. the greater number of matches won by the club then
ii. if the total number of matches won is equal, the club with the greater points difference (points scored for, less points scored against) then
iii. if the points difference is equal, the club that has achieved the higher aggregate match points scored by it in the same season against the other club.

Stage One league points
At the conclusion of Stage One, league points shall be assigned to each club in Stage Two as follows:

Pool A Pool B
1st - 3 points
4th - 2 points .
5th - 1 points
8th - 0 points
2nd - 3 points
3rd - 2 points
6th - 1points
7th - 0 points

Pool C
Eeach team will be 1 championship point in Stage 2 for every match won in Stage 1.
The play-off pools will be confirmed Saturday PM.

As current league positions stand, the play-off fixtures may look something like this:

Pool A Pool B
Rd 1 09-11 March
Doncaster Knights v Bristol Rugby
London Welsh v Nottingham

Rd 2 16-18 March
Bristol Rugby v London Welsh
Nottingham v Doncaster Knights

Rd 3 23-25 March
London Welsh v Doncaster Knights
Nottingham v Bristol Rugby

Rd 3R 30 March-1 April
Bristol Rugby v Nottingham
Doncaster Knights v London Welsh

Rd 2R 13-15 April
Doncaster Knights v Nottingham
London Welsh v Bristol Rugby

Rd 1R 21-April
Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights
Nottingham v London Welsh
Rd 1 09-11 March
Leeds Carnegie v Bedford Blues
Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans

Rd 2 16-18 March
Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates
Rotherham Titans v Leeds Carnegie

Rd 3 23-25 March
Cornish Pirates v Leeds Carnegie
Rotherham Titans v Bedford Blues

Rd 3R 30 March-1 April
Bedford Blues v Rotherham Titans
Leeds Carnegie v Cornish Pirates

Rd 2R 13-15 April
Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues
Leeds Carnegie v Rotherham Titans

Rd 1R 21 April
Bedford Blues v Leeds Carnegie
Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates

Live Match Broadcasts

London Welsh v Leeds Carnegie, 12:30 (BBC Radio Leeds)

Bedford v Nottingham, 14:00 (BBC Three Counties Radio)

Esher v Plymouth Albion, 14:00 (BBC Radio Devon)

Cornish Pirates v Moseley 13:00 - KO 14:00 (Pirates TV)

 

Friday 24th February 2012

Bristol 52-26 Doncaster

Bristol

 

Bristol - Ben Glynn makes his first RFU Championship start of the season when Bristol Rugby play host to Doncaster Knights at the Memorial Stadium tonight.

The 20 year-old, who has featured from the bench in the last two fixtures, links up with Glen Townson in the second row.

Head Coach Liam Middleton makes a total of eight changes to his starting line-up, with Matt Jones making his full debut at fly half.

Will Helu switches to the wing in place of Jack Tovey, while Fautua Otto returns at outside-centre. Tom Slater makes his first league start since the victory over Cornish Pirates in November.

Skipper Iain Grieve makes a full recovery from an eye injury to play at no.8 alongside Josh Ovens and Marco Mama. Dual registered Bath prop Mark Lilley is named on a strong replacements bench including Henry Vanderglas and George Watkins.

www.bristolrugby.co.uk

LIAM Middleton has revealed that some of his Bristol players have "kicked the door wide open" in terms of his play-off selection plans with their displays in the last few weeks.

The head coach has made it clear that the next few weeks could once again see his ideas change – with players still having time to force their way into the side for the most important games of the season.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Bristol Rugby
Jon Goodridge; Will Helu, Fautua Otto, Luke Eves, Matt Williams
Matt Jones, Tom Slater; Darren Crompton, Rhys Lawrence, Jason Hobson
Ben Glynn, Glen Townson, Josh Ovens, Marco Mama, Iain Grieve (c).

Replacements:
Ross Johnston, Mark Lilley, Roy Winters, Henry Vanderglas
Ruki Tipuna, Matty James, George Watkins.

 

Doncaster

 

Doncaster Knights boss Brett Davey has experimented with several positional changes in his squad to travel down to Bristol tonight.

The midweek defeat to London Welsh has resulted in Knights being unable to climb above eighth place, but a win would secure high confidence and momentum ahead of a home clash with Bristol in a fortnight. 

Top try-scorer Michael Keating switches from the wing to full-back for the first time, while flanker Latu Makaafi has been handed a starting place in the back line at outside-centre having impressed at 12 earlier in the season. Mike Whitehead returns at fly-half and Michael Heaney is handed another chance to impress at scrum-half.

www.drfc.co.uk

Doncaster Knights
15 Mike Whitehead 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 Oli Goss 12 Latu Makaafi
11 BenToft 10 Gareth Quinn-McDonogh 9 Chris Hallam ©
1 Stuart Corsar 2 Jack Yeandle 3 Royce Burke-Flynn 4 Andy Boyde
5 Dominic Parsons 6 Adam Kettle 7 David Bradford 8 Chris Planchant

Replacements
16 Andy Brown 17 Jack Yeandle 18 Alex Brown 19 Michael Noone
20 Brett Davey  21 Michael Heaney 22 PJGidlow

 

Sunday 19 February 2012

Bedford v Nottingham, 14:00

Bedford

 

Bedford Blues - Last weekend, Bedford Blues picked up their first victory on the road since November with a 15-24 win over Moseley at Billesley Common.

That result came at a cost though with Dave Vincent and Gregor Gillanders picking up knocks that see them join Mark Kohler, Sacha Harding and Handre Schmidt on the injury bench.

Looking ahead to the game against Nottingham, Blues Backs Coach Paul Larkin said: “With the injuries that we have to Mark, Dave and Handre along and Josh Bassett being away with the England Under 20s, we really are down to the bare bones in the back three and we’ve had to do a bit of shifting around.

“We picked up an important win last weekend and we are looking for a good performance against Nottingham on Saturday as we try to build some momentum as head into the play-offs. We also want to ensure that we give our home fans something to cheer about.”

The Blues make nine changes to the team which defeated Moseley last weekend with James Pritchard, Jake Sharp, Nico Steenkamp, Neil Cochrane, Phil Boulton and Paul Tupai all returning to the starting line-up while Brendan Burke returns to outside centre, Henry Staff moves to the wing and Alex Rae swaps the second row for blindside flanker.

www.bedfordrugby.co.uk

Bedford’s Director of rugby Mike Rayer, speaking to Bedford today, said, “We always have tight games against Nottingham. They are extremely organised and very well coached. Their recruitment this year has been good because they’ve bought in several internationals.

“We don’t know what side they’ll play but they put out a so-called weaker side at Plymouth and won so they have a very good squad.

“They’ll want to come here and put a marker down.

“They’re always a very well organised side upfront and they’ve added firepower behind so it’s an all round threat.

Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Bedford Blues 
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. Henry Staff 13. Brendan Burke 12. Ian Vass
11. Ollie Dodge 10. Jake Sharp 9. Luke Baldwin 
1. Nico Steenkamp 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Phil Boulton 4. Mike Howard
5. Paul Tupai 6. Alex Rae 7. Darren Fox 8. Jonathon Fisher

Replacements:
16. Chris Locke, 17. Sam Walsh, 18. Ben Cooper, 19. Sean Tomes
20. Don Barrell, 21. Darryl Veenendaal, 22. Jamie Lennard.
.

 

Nottingham

 

Nottingham - The Green and Whites are in a good run of form, having won their last three league matches despite the inconvenience of having to play three matches in seven days due to the bad weather.

Nottingham's Director of Rugby, Glenn Delaney said, "It was a good win against Leeds in difficult conditions. The strong wind meant that we had to play a tight game and it made life difficult for the kickers. Our set piece was very strong and that gave us a good platform to control the match."

Bedford recorded a good away win against Moseley in their last outing and currently lie second in the table on points difference. They will be looking to secure their position heading into the play-offs as they can still be caught by Cornish Pirates and London Welsh.

Delaney continued, "Bedford have a lot to play for on Saturday. If they can secure their second spot, they go into Pool B of the play-offs as the top seeds. That's a great incentive for them. 

We're also looking to get the best finish we can, so we'll be ready for whatever they throw at us. If it's anything like the opening match of the season against them, it'll be a great game."

www.nottinghamrugby.co.uk

Glenn Delaney told the Nottingham Post; "We'll put the bodies back together and roll out there again against Bedford".

"We've all got one game left and we are fifth in the league now but we can't catch London Welsh, who are in fourth, six points above us."

If Nottingham lose, Rotherham Titans, who play London Scottish, can leapfrog them.

"Fifth is where we can finish but we've got to solidify that tomorrow against the Blues," said Delaney.

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

Nottingham have rotated their squad again ahead of this fixture, so the line-up that secured the victory against Plymouth last weekend get another chance to impress. The only change sees Dante Mama move to the wing in place of the suspended Rhys Crane. Joe Munro comes into the centre.

Nottingham
Forwards:
1 Matt Parr 2 Matt Holloway 3 Ben Prescott 4 Craig Hammond (c)
5 Callum Green 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Phil Eggleshaw 8 Alex Shaw
Backs:
9 Nathan Jones 10 Kieran Hallett 11 Dante Mama 12 Joe Munro
13 Ayoola Erinle 14 Mike Penn 15 David Jackson.

Replacements:
16 Ollie Taylor 17 Matt Shields 18 Sione Kalamafoni 19 Nic Rouse 20 Finlay Barnham
21 James Arlidge 22 Juan Socino

 

Cornish Pirates v Moseley, 14:00

Pirates TV

Cornish Pirates

 

Cornish Pirates - This round 22 game is the last in Stage 1 of this season's RFU Championship and gifted hooker Dave Ward will make his 100th appearance for the Cornish Pirates.

The Pirates are presently third in the league table but will be keen to finish in second place ahead of the Stage 2 play-offs, so there's plenty to play for this weekend.

There are several changes in the line-up from the side that started against Bristol last Sunday, with injury problems seeing the club's top try-scorer David Doherty move from wing to centre.

Darren Daniel, who made his Championship debut recently at Rotherham, will fill the spot vacated by 'The Doc', and Matt Evans also gets a start on the other wing.

Flanker Chris Morgan, lock Ian Nimmo and Ward are three forwards who keep their starting places, whilst No. 8 Ben Maidment, flanker Dave Ewers, lock Mike Myerscough, and props Lloyd Fairbrother and Carl Rimmer are the refreshed faces included.

http://cornish-pirates.com

The Cornish Pirates are coming good at just the right time, but prop Alan Paver says it is crucial for them to continue their good form into the Championship play-offs.

Paver says finishing stage one with a win over Moseley this weekend would complete an important month for the club psychologically. He said: "It is really important we keep this momentum going. We've really built well towards the end of the season and we need to carry that through to the play-offs.

"Psychologically it is good at the moment, we know we can beat anyone on our day. We can't go out and cruise a win, we're not that good, but if we work hard and prepare well, we've got every chance. We've got to put in another performance before we hit these play-offs.

Full Story www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

Cornish Pirates:
R. Cook, D. Daniel, D. Doherty, T. Cooper, M. Evans
A. Penberthy, G. Cattle (capt), B. Maidment, C. Morgan, D. Ewers
I. Nimmo, M. Myerscough, L. Fairbrother, D. Ward, C. Rimmer.

Replacements:
A. Paver, T. Cowan-Dickie, R. Brits, M. Smith
P. Burgess, J. Doherty, C. Thomas.

Match Officials
Referee: 
Ian Tempest (RFU)
Assistants:Tom Foley & Roger Baileff

 

Moseley

 

Moseley - Cornwall has not proved the happiest hunting ground for Moseley in recent seasons with some heavy defeats being the outcome of visits.

Moseley can expect it to be no easier this time with Pirates boasting an impressive home record this season, with only one loss back in October to Bedford. Moseley will be able to take some positives into the game not least the early season 27 all draw at Billesley Common.

For Moseley this game is important on a number of levels. As the last chance to influence the club's position in Pool C the players will be looking for one final win to provide a point to carry over, made more valuable since Esher's surprise win over Leeds last week.

Outside of the win, bonus points may be the order of the day. With Moseley currently in 9th place a final home game in pool C is currently a prize worth having. With three points currently separating Moseley from Plymouth and London Scottish the odd BP or two could come in handy.

Coaches Maggs & West will also utilise this game to finalise the Moseley starting combinations for the Pool C campaign.

Despite the defeat last week they will have been pleased by the way a number of players are stepping up, wanting to play a significant part in the next phase of the season. The likes of Jack Adam and Ben Pons, returning from injury will be keen to provide selection headaches of a positive kind for the coaches.

For Moseley there is nothing to lose on Saturday and it will be extremely challenging to get anything out of the game.  But the team does have the capability to deliver when things go well so you never know!

Full Story www.moseleyrugby.co.uk

Moseley travel with a side showing several changes to that which lost at home to Bedford Blues last week. On that occasion Moseley showed good team spirit, but were unable to stop Bedford from achieving a bonus-point victory.

Coach Kevin Maggs is using this match to try some new permutations after a month in which his team will have played against the top three sides.

“We need to stay positive and focus on our performance at all times” he said. “We lost by a small margin to Bedford, and but for one or two defensive lapses would have taken points from the game”.

Moseley:
1. Marshall Gadd; 2.Adam Caves; 3. Craig Voisey; 4. Dan Sanderson
5.Paul Spivey; 6.James Tyas; 7.Michael Ellery; 8.Chevvy Pennycook
9. Sam Brown; 10. Bradley Davies; 11. William Robinson; 12.Andy Reay
13.Greg King; 14. Anthony Carter; 15. Oliver Thomas

Replacements:
16. Colin Quigley;17. Anthony O’donnell; 18. David Lyons; 19. Michael Maltman
20.Ben Pons; 21.Jack Adams; 22 Ryan De La Harpe.

 

Esher v Plymouth Albion, 14:00

Esher

 

Esher winger Phil Mackenzie has called for Esher to step up the pressure as they aim to create Championship history at Molesey Road on Saturday.

They face fellow relegation strugglers Plymouth hunting three successive wins for the first time since the restructuring of the English leagues.

Mike Schmid’s side followed up the crucial derby win over London Scottish with a stunning 24-22 triumph at Leeds on Sunday.

Now they are gunning for the hat-trick against Plymouth to set them up perfectly for next month’s relegation play-offs.

Canada star Mackenzie, who scored his 10th try in the last 12 games and fourth in the last three, insists bottom-side Esher must keep up the momentum as they aim to complete the great escape.

Mackenzie, 25, said: “It was great to get such a good win against a very good team and it’s one of the most memorable since I’ve been at Esher. We were ecstatic afterwards.

“Now we must build on those two wins by backing it up against Plymouth. To win three in a row would be massive in terms of confidence ahead of the play-offs and we can’t afford to take a step backwards.

“Everyone is fully committed and we’ve got some stability in the squad now. But when people are injured, others are stepping up.”

Esher have won three and drawn one of their last seven league games, a remarkable turnaround in fortunes after 14 successive defeats.

Their three league wins so far gives them three points to take into the relegation play-offs, where they will face London Scottish, who have won five, while Moseley and Plymouth currently have six victories.

Director of Rugby Schmid said: “Phil’s a very talented, hard-working boy and an exceptional tryscorer. He’s certainly hitting form at the right time for us.”

Schmid was delighted with the victory at Headingley but insists the players will not get carried away. He said: “We’re not getting too excited or ahead of ourselves.

“We always said when we got the core of the side back we would be competitive in this league but the boys know that there is still a lot of work to do.”

Full Story www.esherrugby.com

Esher
15 Luke Daniels 14 Sebastian Stegman 13 Thomas Cheeseman 12 Arran Cruickshanks
11 Philip Mackenzie 10 Mark Atkinson 9 Clive Stuart-Smith
1 Nick Mayhew 2 James Campbell 3 Ignacio Elosu 4 Ian Kench
5 James Inglis 6 Sam Stitcher 7 Peter Synnott 8 Michael Macfarlane

Replacements
16 William Collier (FR) 17 Robert Buchanan (FR) 18 Matthew Symons 19 Shawn Renwick
20 Nicky Little 21 Jonathan Hylton 22 Patrick O’Grady

 

Plymouth Albion

 

Plymouth Albion coach Nat Saumi admits it is vital his team try to give themselves some breathing space in the Championship relegation play-offs by beating Esher tomorrow.

A victory for Albion would give them a four-point advantage over the Surrey side the in six-match play-offs series. However, a defeat in the last regular league match of the season would be mean Esher starting the relegation fight just two points behind Albion.

"Every game is a big game, but this especially as we want to shut them out," said Saumi. "We need to get this win to keep distance between us and them."

"They will be on a high, especially after going away to Leeds and winning,"

"It will be a tough contest as both teams want to finish on a high before the play-offs start.

Full Story www.thisisdevon.co.uk

Young lock Addison Lockley returns to Plymouth Albion's starting line-up tomorrow as they look to secure a significant play-off advantage over relegation rivals Esher.

Albion head to Surrey for their final regular league game knowing a victory would give them a four-point start over Esher in the play-offs.

"It will be a tough contest as both teams want to finish on a high before the play-offs start,"said Albion head coach Nat Saumi.

Lockley for Dan Collier is the only change Albion make to their starting line-up that narrowly lost 21-19 to Nottingham last week.

That means Plymouth schoolboy Jack Arnott keeps his place on the wing after making his debut last week.

Albion, who are still without hooker Gareth Evans, are able to welcome back Wayne Sprangle and Sean-Michael Stephen, who will both start on the bench.

Albion:
15 James Love, 14 Paul Bailey, 13 Bevon Armitage, 12 Sione Tu'ipulotu
11 Jack Arnott, 10 Paul Roberts, 9 Ruairi Cushion,
1 Jack Andrew, 2 Davy McGregor, 3 Rob Dugard, 4 Tyler Hotson,
5 Addison Lockley, 6 Herbie Stupple, 7 Sam Hocking, 8 Aaron Carpenter (capt).

Reps:
Tyson Lewis, Steve Johns, Ryan Hopkins/David Morton, Rupert Freestone
Dan Collier, Wayne Sprangle, Sean-Michael Stephen

www.plymouthalbion.com

 

London Welsh v Leeds Carnegie, 12:30

London Welsh

 

London Welsh hooker Dan George prepares to make his 50th League appearance for the club against Leeds Carnegie at Old Deer Park.

I’ve had some good moments and some good memories, but I think there’s more to offer at the club. I think my best London Welsh moment is still to come,” said George.

“I’d love to be at the club for as long as I can - I enjoy playing for London Welsh. It’s a great environment to be in, the supporters are brilliant and I do see a future at the club.

“The Championship is getting stronger but if London Welsh can get promoted, and I can stay with the club through that promotion, and be competitive in the Premiership that would be the perfect situation.”

A Welsh win on Saturday, and perhaps even a try for George on his milestone appearance, coupled with a victory for Wales over England at Twickenham later that day, would certainly be a memorable way to mark George’s 50th league appearance for the club.

Full Story www.london-welsh.co.uk

London Welsh may have already made sure of a top four finish, thanks to their mid-week victory over Doncaster Knights, but Lyn Jones’ side will be eager to end the regular season on a high note when they welcome Leeds Carnegie to Old Deer Park.

It’s seems an age now since the two sides last meet at Headingley in September in round 1, when the Exiles ran out 26-13 winners thanks to tries from Liam Gibson and Simon Whatling, and 16 points from the boot of Gordon Ross.

Welsh will therefore be looking to do the double over Leeds, having done just that against London Scottish and Doncaster in the last five days, but the Yorkshire side can take heart from their last visit to Old Deer Park which saw them run out emphatic 38-0 winners on their way to winning promotion back to the Premiership under Neil Back.

London Welsh:
15. Seb Jewell, 14. Will Hurrell, 13. Paul Mackey, 12. Simon Whatling
11. Ashley Smith, 10. Alex Davies, 9. Jack Moates
1. Tom French, 2. Saul Nelson, 3. Billy Moss, 4. Matt Corker
5. Mike Powell, 6. Lee Beach, 7. Michael Hills, 8. Ben Russell.

Replacements:
16. Dan George, 17. Greg Bateman, 18. Adam Brown, 19. Ed Jackson
20. Rob Lewis, 21. Gordon Ross, 22. James Lewis.

In Breaking news from London Welsh,  following the recent announcement of a strengthened new board of directors for London Welsh Rugby Football Club the Board have set out some of its future plans.

Bleddyn Phillips, the Club’s new Chairman commented: “With London Welsh ready to compete in this season’s Championship play-offs we have a plan in place to ensure that, should we be promoted, we will provide a thriving playing environment for our supporters, players and visiting teams.

“Over the past 17 years we have been reliant on Kelvin Bryon’s generous funding. We must now expand this funding base and bring in new supporters, more sponsors and more investors - whilst at the same time retaining the character and heritage of London Welsh. Over the next few weeks we expect to announce:

Full Story www.london-welsh.co.uk

 

Leeds Carnegie

 

Leeds Carnegie welcome back Stevie McColl to the starting line up for the final regular league game of the season against London Welsh

The Scottish full back has been out of action for Leeds since the away game against Bedford back in October, having undergone surgery on a shoulder injury.

Diccon Edwards has made a further 12 changes to the starting line up who played Nottingham on Wednesday. Andy Titterrell comes back in at hooker, with Phil Nilsen, who picked up an injury in that game, starting on the bench. Halani Aulika is set to make his second appearance, as is Ed Williamson, who retains his place in the side.

This will be Leeds Carnegie's third game in six days and Jacob Rowan is the only player to start in each of those fixtures. In the backs Joe Ford returns at fly half and Will Cliff will start at scrum half.

www.leedscarnegie.com

Leeds Carnegie
1. Sam Lockwood 2. Andy Titterrell 3. Halani Aulika 4. Jon Pendlebury
5. Dan Hemingway 6. Ed Williamson 7. Jacob Rowan 8. Ryan Burrows
9. Will Cliff 10. Joe Ford 11. Peter Lucock 12. Scott Barrow
13. Iain Thornley 14. Michael Stephenson 15. Stevie McColl

Replacemnets
16. Phil Nilsen 17. Gareth Denman 18. Mo Mustafa 19. Richard Beck
20. Alex Rieder 21. Robbie Shaw 22. Jordan Davies

 

Rotherham Titans v London Scottish, 14:00

Rotherham Titans

 

Rotherham Titans have made ten changes ahead of this Championship clash with London Scottish.

With a large number of Titans carrying knocks and minor niggles; head coach Andre Bester believes it prudent not to risk further injury ahead of the crucial promotion play-offs. The changes have been split evenly between the backs and forwards, with Neale Patrick given the role of captain for the match.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s encounter Andre Bester explained, “London Scottish is important to us, it’s a home match and like every match we play, we go into it to try and win. We have prepared very well this week in anticipation of a tough Scottish challenge.

“However, we have lots of niggles that we are carrying in the squad following our physical encounter at Doncaster last week and therefore we are enforced to rotate heavily. It’s important that we don’t arrive at the play-offs with niggles and injuries.

“We know London Scottish are a good side, they have a very good set piece, they have the strongest scrum in the division and they have two absolutely brilliant tight head props. There’s no doubt that they will be up for the challenge and they won’t have any doubt that they can beat Rotherham at home.

“Our job is to make sure that does not happen and we believe that the side that has been selected is good enough to take the points if they play as well as we know they can.”

Rotherham Titans
15 Stephen Hamilton, 14 Ed Tellwright, 13 Byron Godfrey, 12 Pale Nonu
11 Peter Homan, 10 Cliffie Hodgson, 9 Dale Farnham,
Jamie Kilbane, 2 Ted Stagg, 3 Rob O’Donnell, 4 Neale Patrick (Capt.)
5 Adrian Griffiths, 6 Tom Armes, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Ben Wade.

Replacements:
16 Jan-Francois Bester, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Rikki Stout, 19 Talite Vaioleti
20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Tom Foden, 22 Dave McCall.

www.rotherhamrugby.co.uk

 

London Scottish

 

London Scottishcomplete their regular season fixtures with a tough away match at Clifton Lane.

Scottish go into this match on the back of a good performance against fellow Exiles London Welsh, and will be looking to finish off the regular season with win against the Titans and so complete the double over them.

Scottish faced Rotherham in the opening fixture of the season last September. Since then there has been a lot of water flowing under the bridge and the victory that Scottish achieved on that sunny day when they ran out winners 16 -11 seems a long way off.

The Scottish starting XV that started that match has certainly changed across the season and with a considerable number of new faces at the club since then.

Full Preview www.londonscottish.com

Head Coach Simon Amor has shuffled his pack for the trip to Yorkshire.

James Brown returns at 10, with Oli Grove dropping to the bench. Ben Lonergan returns at flanker, and Matt Heeks makes his first start since the home defeat to Nottingham at scrum half.

Scottish have been creating more attacking chances in recent weeks, and this is an area that the squad will look to develop in the game against a strong Rotherham side.

London Scottish
15. Stuart Peel 14. Agustin Gosio 13. Ryan Westren 12. Charlie Hayter
11. Gerard Mullen 10. James Brown 9. Matt Heeks
8. Mark Bright 7. Ben Lonergan 6. Adam Kleeberger 5. Josh Thomas Brown
4. Steve Pape 3. Aaron Liffchak 2. Tom Standfield 1. Alex Clarke

Replacemnts
16. Matt Johnson 17. Adam Kwasnicki 18. Alex MacKenzie 19. Alex Karonias
20. James Kellard 21. Jamie Stevenson 22. Oli Grove