RFU Championship News

October 5th

RFU Championship News 5th October


RFU Championship News Friday 5th October 2012

Round 6 Teams & Previews
Plus news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Friday 5 October 2012 
Leeds Carnegie v Doncaster 20:00 BBC Radio Leeds

Saturday 6 October 2012 
Bedford v Plymouth Albion 15:00 BBC Three Counties Radio
London Scottish v Cornish Pirates 15:00 BBC Radio Cornwall
Moseley v Newcastle 15:00
Rotherham Titans v Bristol 15:00

Sunday 7 October 2012 
Nottingham v Jersey 15:00 BBC Radio Jersey

Leeds Carnegie v Doncaster Knights - Friday 20:00

Leeds Carnegie Doncaster Knights Leeds Carnegie v Doncaster
Friday 5th October
Kick Off 8pm

BBC Radio Leeds
Live Commentary


Leeds Carnegie

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards has been dealt a double injury blow ahead of tonights clash with Doncaster Knights at Headingley, after two players failed fitness tests in final training.

Winger David Doherty misses out again for Leeds and is replaced by Jamel Chisholm whilst centre Josh Griffin has failed to recover in time and his place is taken by youngster Christian Georgiou, who is promoted from the bench.

There is a welcome return on the bench for centre Joe Barker, who has been sidelined for nine months through injury but recently returned to action with Otley.

Doncaster Knights

Doncaster Knights will be looking to repeat their stunning 30 - 16 victory from last season when they travel to Headingley seeking their first win of the season at the expense of Leeds Carnegie.

The West Yorkshire side are currently 6th in the Championship courtesy of two home victories over Jersey by 32 points to 19 and Bristol by 50 points to 31.

The Leeds side will contain former Knights favourites Steve McColl at full back and Fred Burden at centre.

For their part, the Knights have former Leeds centre James Tincknell, flanker Andy Boyde and replacement Tom Barrett in their line up.

Leeds Carnegie
15. Stevie McColl 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Christian Georgiou 12. Fred Burdon 11. Jamel Chisholm
10. Joe Ford 9. James Doherty
1. Sam Lockwood 2. Joe Graham 3. Damien Tussac 4. Calum Green
5. Mike Myerscough 6. Richard Beck 7. Jacob Rowan (c) 8. Ryan Burrows

16. Phil Nilsen 17. Lee Imiolek 18. Ben Hooper 19. Rob Baldwin
20. Chris Walker 21. Craig Hampson 22. Joe Barker

Doncaster Knights
15 Dante Mama 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 Will Simpson 12 James Tincknell 11 Tyson Lewis
10 Jamie Lennard 9 Louis Silver
1 Tom Davies 2 Rhys Buckley 3 Brian McGovern 4 Matt Challinor (c)
5 Dom Parsons 6 Adam Kettle 7 Jethro Rawling 8 Chris Planchant

16 Andy Brown 17 Ben Sowrey 18 Jerry Cronin 19 Royce Cadman
20 Andy Boyde 21 Chris Hallam 22 Tom Barrett

What The Papers Say

Yorkshire Evening Post
22-year-old Carnegie captain, Jacob Rowan, says the hurt of last week’s humbling at Newcastle Falcons will inspire Leeds against Yorkshire rivals Doncaster tonight.

Leeds were thumped 53-10 by the promotion favourites last week, just five days after they themselves had smashed 50 points past Bristol.

 “We’ve looked at where we went wrong and we’re going to come out firing against Doncaster. This is a huge game for us, we’ve worked hard this week and after failing to beat them last season that just adds to it for us.

“Their league form isn’t great, but they got a good result against Pirates and they’ll take huge confidence from that because Pirates have been in the promotion final the last two years.

Full Story www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk

The Star
Doncaster Knights’ boss Brett Davey says he has changed his mind about last Friday’s 18-18 draw at Castle Park.

“I said after the game that I felt it was a good result,” said the Welshman whose side are still looking for their first win of the season.

“But I don’t think that after watching the match DVD; I thought that we were a much better team.

“We’ve still got plenty to work on but we are getting there. We just need that first win and hopefully we’ll get that at Leeds to night”

 “I’m not pleased with our position in the league and that has to change as quickly as possible but Friday’s result was certainly a step in the right direction.”

Full Story www.thestar.co.uk

Other News This Week

The Yorkshire Regiment Trophy

The three Yorkshire Rugby Union clubs in the RFU Championship, Leeds Carnegie, Rotherham Titans and Doncaster Knights, have announced plans for an exciting new challenge between the three to decide the top team in the county this season.

The Yorkshire Regiment Trophy has been approved by the RFU Championship Clubs Committee as a new venture to aid the development of rugby union in the North of England. The Yorkshire Regiment has kindly collaborated with the clubs as a means of strengthening the Yorkshire connection for what is hoped will become an established regional sporting competition.

Commenting on the new trophy, Leeds Carnegie captain Jacob Rowan said, “I think it is an exciting concept and something that will lift the games between the three sides this season. There is always a bit of banter between supporters about who is the best and this should resolve those arguments.

Doncater Knights Captain, Matt Challinor added, “There is nothing like a derby game, especially as there are quite a few lads who have played for one of the other clubs. I think it is great initiative that we can honour the efforts of the guys in the Yorkshire Regiment, who do the county proud both at home and abroad.

The Yorkshire Regiment has a unique rugby heritage within the Army. This stretches back to the first days of Army Rugby over a hundred years ago through its predecessor regiment, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

The 'Dukes' were the county regiment of the West Riding whose Regimental training depot, built in 1877, was in Halifax. In those early days the 13-a-side game was played in all the schools of the West Riding and beyond within Yorkshire ensuring a steady stream of talented rugby playing soldiers into the Regiment.

This, in turn, attracted officers with rugby flair from across the country and beyond to join the Regiment.

Over the years the Regiment's name became synonymous with rugby within the British Army founded on its exceptional record of winning the Army Cup 14 times - more times than any other Regiment - runners up 8 times, eleven members of the Regiment gaining international honours, three representing the British Lions and over 50 members of the Regiment have represented the British Army many of whom also played for the Combined Services.

Bedford v Plymouth Albion - Saturday 3pm

Bedford Blues Plymouth Albion Bedford v Plymouth Albion
Saturday 6th October
Goldington Road
Kick Off 3pm

Live Commentary
BBC Three Counties Radio


Bedford Blues return to Goldington Road in what could  be the Championship match of the day as they face third placed Plymouth Albion.

Albion have been in sparkling form this season having won four and lost only once with their latest victory being a 15-3 result over Rotherham last Friday. Despite playing in the relegation play-off pool last season, Nat Saumi’s men have their sights set on the top four this time around.

Injury wise, Bedford came out of last weekend’s victory against Jersey relatively unscathed although Ricky Reeves is left out as a result of being sent off due to a tip tackle during the match. Ben Gulliver picked up a knock in training and misses out but apart from that, there are only a couple of minor knocks to contend with.

Despite picking up five points against the Islanders, Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer knows that his team will have to be at their best for the visit of Plymouth this weekend.

Looking ahead to the game he said: “In terms of collecting league points we are delighted to be where we are at this stage. We know that we are not firing on all cylinders and we will continue to work hard on certain aspects of our game. Our spirit and collectiveness remains intact and that got us through some sticky moments last weekend.”

“This weekend we face an extremely difficult challenge in the form of a revitalised Plymouth Albion who are playing some great rugby. They have certainly turned things around on the pitch and will want to continue that fine form against us.

Bedford make three personnel changes from the team that started against Jersey last weekend with James Stephenson, Darren Fearn and Alex Rae all coming into the starting line-up in place of Ben Ransom, Ricky Reeves and Ben Gulliver respectively.

Jake Sharp has recovered from a back injury to take a place on the bench.

Plymouth Albion

Plymouth Albion hand a debut to 21-year-old back Lewis Warner for their trip to Goldington Road to take on Bedford Blues.

Warner will start on the wing for third-placed Albion against the Blues, who sit just above them in second place.

Head coach Nat Saumi said: “Lewis has been training very well and played well in pre-season.

“He is looking forward to hopefully taking his chance and I hope he does.”

Albion head to Goldington Road looking for a fifth win in six games. The club’s last victory at Bedford came during the 2009/10 season when they claimed a 19-16 win.

Bedford Blues
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. James Stephenson 13. Brendan Burke 12. Henry Staff 11. Josh Bassett
10. Mark Atkinson 9. Luke Baldwin
1. Darren Fearn 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Phil Boulton 4. Mike Howard
5. Alex Rae 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Sacha Harding 8. Paul Tupai

16. Dan Seal, 17. Ben Cooper, 18. Tom Armes, 19. Darren Fox
20. Darryl Veenendaal, 21. Jake Sharp, 22. Ben Ransom

Plymouth Albion
15 Slade Henry 14 Bailey Paul 13 Howley-Berridge Toby 12 Armitage Bevon 11 Warner Lewis
10 Roberts Paul 9 Cushion Ruairi
1 Cowan-Dickie Luke 2 Vickers Jon 3 Fairbrother Lloyd 4 Beukeboom Brett
5 Ascroft-Leigh Ien 6 Sprangle Wayne 7 Hocking Sam 8 Stephen Sean-Michael (capt)

16 McAtee Rhodri 17 Morton David 18 Nasiga Rupeni 19 Andrew Jack
20 Cowan-Dickie Tom 21 Carpenter Aaron 22 Fisilau Keni

What The Papers Say

Michael Hann. Bedford Today
Bedford Blues must rectify their ‘basic errors’ if they are to avoid defeat against Plymouth Albion on Saturday, writes Michael Hann.

Director of rugby Mike Rayer said  “It is as much about us. If you are making 30-odd errors and missing tackles then we need to fix our own house regardless of what Plymouth will bring.

“It could be anyone coming here on Saturday, if we make that amount of errors we are not going to win the game.

“We have got to smarten up and play with a bit more intensity and make sure we hold on to the ball.”

Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Western Morning News
Head coach Nat Saumi hopes his Plymouth Albion team will go into the break for the British & Irish Cup flying high in the Championship.

"Bedford are still undefeated this season so it is another big challenge for us," said Saumi

"We had a good game against Rotherham and they drew with Bedford, but for us it is just about improving week in, week out.

"You just have to give that extra one per cent each week to improve as a team. It will be good to go and put in a good performance before we go into the British & Irish Cup."

Although Albion have only won twice at Goldington Road in their history, they do have players in their squad who know what it takes to win there.

Ruairi Cushion, Wayne Sprangle and Keni Fisilau were among the Albion team that won their during the 2009/10 season.

Full Story  www.thisisdevon.co.uk

London Scottish v Cornish Pirates - Saturday 3pm

London Scottish Cornish Pirates London Scottish v Cornish Pirates
Saturday 6th October
Athletic Ground
Kick Off 3pm


Live Commentaries
BBC Radio Cornwall

London Scottish

London Scottish are looking to continue their encouraging home form against 2012 Championship finalists Cornish Pirates this Saturday.

Several changes in the back line see Joe Ajuwa make his first appearance for London Scottish, as well as a return to the starting line up for wing Miles Mantella.

In the pack, James Kellard come into the back row for Lewis Calder, whilst Tyler Hotson and Paul Spivey re-unite in the second row.

Director of Rugby Simon Amor has called for his side to show more consistency, starting this weekend.

Amor: "We set exceptionally high standards as a group at London Scottish and we fell well below these on Friday.

"Our performances to date at The Athletic Ground have been encouraging in parts although we have lacked consistency. We've scored some good tries although we need to find that consistency coupled with our continued progression in our defence."

"Most importantly, the team will look to play with passion and pride which is at the very heart of London Scottish."

Cornish Pirates

Open-side flanker Phil Burgess returns to the starting line-up and will captain the Cornish Pirates in the injured absence of club skipper and scrum-half Gavin Cattle, he replaces Joe Buckle who was a try-scorer at Doncaster.

The one other change in the pack sees Ben Maidment return at No. 8 in place of Laurie McGlone.

There are a number of changes in the backs, with full-back Jack Nowell – a Pirates Juniors product - who is dual-registered with Exeter Chiefs, coming into the side for the injured Matt Evans.

Having played for Plymouth Albion in the Championship last season, this will be his first Championship appearance for the Pirates.

Wes Davies is fit again and will take the place of Tom Kessell on the wing, who is selected in his more accustomed scrum-half role and Junior Fatialofa replaces Alex Cheesman at inside centre.

Junior Poluleuligaga - a recent arrival on loan from Exeter Chiefs - is named on the bench to provide scrum-half cover.

London Scottish
15 James Love 14 Joe Ajuwa 13 Jim Thompson 12 Dave McCall 11 Miles Mantella
10 Phil Godman 9 Richard Bolt
1 Alex Clarke 2 Harry Allen 3 Colin Quigley 4 Paul Spivey
5 Tyler Hotson 6 Chevvy Pennycook 7 James Kellard 8 Mark Bright

16 Adam Kwasnicki 17 Alex MacKenzie 18 Sam Twomey 19 Ben Lonergan
20 Joe Trayfoot 21 Ross Samson 22 Simon Whatling

Cornish Pirates:
J. Nowell, T. Bedford, T. Riley, J. Fatialofa, W. Davies
K. Hallett, T. Kessell
B. Maidment, P. Burgess capt, C. Morgan, G. Johnson, D. Lyons
A. Paver, J. Yeandle, R. Storer.

B. Prescott, R. Elloway, D. Barry, J. Buckle
J. Poluleuligaga, A. Penberthy, A Cheesman.

Referee: Ross Campbell RFU
Assistants: Nicholas Cockburn & James Minards
Assessor: Gary Welsh

What The Papers Say

Western Morning News
The Cornish Pirates have endured a difficult few weeks since their promising start to the Championship but head coach Ian Davies is optimistic his side can return to top form at London Scottish this weekend.

Early-season successes over Jersey and Plymouth Albion have given way to two losses and a draw in subsequent matches with Newcastle Falcons, Bristol and Doncaster Knights

The Pirates' plight has been hindered by a lengthening injury list. Skipper Gavin Cattle was joined in the treatment room this week by Paul Andrew, Darren Semmens, Laurie McGlone, Dave Ewers, Kyle Marriott, Jonny Bentley, Matt Evans and Grant Pointer.

Recent fixtures have been especially challenging but Davies is unwilling see London Scottish as a side of lesser substance this weekend.

Full Story /www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

Other News

With Cornish Pirates club captain Gavin Cattle injured, the Cornish Pirates have arranged scrum-half by signing Junior Poluleuligaga on a short term loan deal from Exeter Chiefs.

Aged 31, the New Zealand-born Samoan international joined Exeter in 2010 having previously played for Toulon, Harlequins and Waikato Chiefs.

Cornish Pirates CEO Rod Coward said: “To have the ongoing, professional relationship with Exeter Chiefs that allows us to be able to approach them when injuries occur to key players and for us to get such a prompt response is hugely beneficial.

We are confident that Junior will provide excellent cover at scrum-half during his time at the Pirates.”

Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter added: "With Will Chudley coming in and doing so well; Haydn Thomas back from injury and Kevin Barrett also going well, an opportunity has arisen for Junior to get some extended game time to play what we believe is high level rugby.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for Junior, and we feel it's just what he needs right now because it can be difficult for scrum-halves and fly-halves, your kind of touch players in the team, to come in and out of sides if they are not playing regularly."

Moseley v Newcastle Falcons  Saturday 3pm

Moseley Newcastle Falcons Moseley v Newcastle
Saturday 6th October
Billesley Common
Kick Off 3pm


Head Coach Kevin Maggs makes a number of changes to the team to face unbeaten leaders, Newcastle, on Saturday

Maggs and Dave Hilton have been hit by a combination of niggling injuries, causing some enforced rotation of the squad.

The three most noteworthy changes come in the forwards, where hooker Sam Wilkes and former Colt Nigel Burrows start for the first time, and at fly-half where last year’s incumbent Brad Davies returns to the berth.

The most recent occasions when these sides met in League encounters was back in the late 1990’s, when Moseley suffered two heavy defeats.

The Birmingham side will be hoping to get something from the game to back up last week’s last-minute win at Bristol, which  was as welcome as it was unexpected by Moseley’s travelling supporters,


Falcons have make six changes to the side that defeated Leeds Carnegie 53-10 last week for this Saturday’s trip to Moseley

Skipper Will Welch returns to openside flanker after missing the last two games with a head injury, while Scott MacLeod gets the nod in the engine room with James Hudson dropping to the bench.

Grant Shiells starts at loose-head prop alongside hooker Matt Thompson, who also has the chance to impress Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.

Alex Tait comes in for the injured Luke Fielden on the wing, while Jamie Helleur starts for the first time this campaign at inside centre after a series of A League outings.

Victory over the West Midlands outfit will make it six wins from six for Richards, but the experienced boss insists his side must take nothing for granted at Billesley Common.

“They have had a couple of good results recently with their win at Bristol last weekend and Jersey before that so we know that we are in for a stern test,” said Richards who looks to continue the Falcons’ 100 per cent record ahead of the 20-day break from Championship rugby as the British and Irish Cup takes centre stage.

He added: “They went 14 points down against Bristol and then clawed their way back into the game in the closing minutes and deservedly so.

“They were once one of the top sides in the country, and it is a club steeped in history and on their day they can be a very difficult side to play against.

“In terms of the squad selection, we have decided to rest Alex Crockett, Rob Vickers, Jonny Golding and James Hudson.

“James Fitzpatrick tweaked his hamstring on Monday night and Suka Hufanga has been struggling this week so we have discounted those.”

1. Chaz Meddick; 2. Sam Wilkes;03. Craig Voisey; 4.Addison Lockley
5.Buster Lawrence; 6. Nigel Burrows; 7.Oliver Robinson; 8. Neil Mason
9. Sam Brown; 10. Brad Davies
11 Oliver Thomas; 12.Charlie Hayter; 13. Greg King; 14. Simon Hunt; 15. Anthony Carter

6. David Hilton;17. Adam Caves; 18. Ben Pienaar; 19.Liam Mather
20. Alex Day; 21.Anders Mogenson; 22. Brad Hunt

Newcastle Falcons:
15 Jimmy Gopperth, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Tom Catterick
10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Rory Lawson
1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Carlo del Fava
5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Richard Mayhew, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg

16 Rob Vickers, 17 James Hall, 18 James Hudson, 19 Mark Wilson
20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Waisea Luveniyali, 22 Michael Tait

What The Papers Say

Mark Smith, The Journal
Falcons Back rower, Mark Wilson believes a wet ball and a soft field will suit his Newcastle Falcons team down to the ground.

He said: “It has been typical North East conditions over the past couple of weeks, but we have been out as usual and just getting on with our work.

“With the way that we want to play I don’t think the weather makes too much difference, to be honest.

“We are a pretty direct side in any case, and if the weather does close in this weekend then it would probably favour us more than Moseley. Our game tends to be based around structures and things like that, whereas they are perhaps more off the cuff.”

“We won’t be taking Moseley lightly at all,” said Wilson, who is back to full fitness after sustaining an injury to his shoulder in pre-season action.

“Even though they are towards the bottom end of the table we have a lot of respect for what they can do. Beating Bristol last weekend was obviously a great result and one that perhaps caught a few people by surprise, but they are a team with a lot of ambition who play from everywhere.

“We have to be hot on our defence to cope with that, and we will be making sure we are alert to anything they try to spark.”

Full Story www.journallive.co.uk

Other News

Newcastle Falcon’s Euan Murray has signed for Worcester Warriors.

Murray, 32, who joined the Falcons in December 2010, played 31 times for the North East club including 20 appearances last season.

The Scotland international will complete his move to Worcester once his loan period with French Top 14 outfit Agen comes to an end in November.

Executive director Paul Varley said: “We believe that we have a squad strong enough to reach the Championship playoffs and gain promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.

“With this in mind we were prepared to release Euan as we look to reduce the outgoings on players.”

Director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Euan has served us well over the last few years and with his aspirations to play in the Premiership, continue to play for Scotland and ultimately tour with the British Lions, this is a terrific move for him.

“We also have to be realistic and play within our means as a Championship team. The squad is packed with experience and has now got momentum after a series of wins, as we look to drive towards the Premiership.”

Rotherham Titans v Bristol - Saturday 3pm

Rotherham Titans Bristol Rugby Rotherham Titans v Bristol
Saturday 6th October
Clifton Lane
Kick Off 3pm



Rotherham Titans

Rotherham Titans have worked “harder than any other team can” says Titans Head Coach Andre Bester, ahead of the visit of Bristol to Clifton Lane on Saturday.

Injury problems however, dictate the nature of the squad with Neale Patrick, Laurence Pearce, Fergus Mulchrone, Charlie Mulchrone and Latu Makaafi all sidelined with varying injuries.

Titans make 6 changes for Bristol, with one of the changes being positional. Club Captain Garry Law moves to full back from fly half allowing James McKinney to come back in. Peter Homan is the other change in the backs and he returns on the wing for Mike Doneghan.

In the forwards Shane Cahill and Dan Baines return at loose head prop and hooker for Jamie Kilbane and Ted Stagg respectively, whilst Barney Maddison returns after injury and starts in the second row.

Commenting ahead of the much anticipated clash, Andre Bester said, “Bristol are coming into this match on the back of two defeats and that’s makes them very dangerous indeed. They have their experienced players back in and they are a much stronger side because of that. They need to win this match and there’s a difference between wanting to win and needing to win. That makes it a very dangerous scenario for us.

“However, we didn’t do ourselves justice as a group and I include myself in that down at Plymouth. There was contributing factors, but we did not enjoy the feeling down there afterwards. We have worked very hard this week to address the issues that we had down there.

“We are back at Clifton Lane this week, we’re back at home and we strive to have a no excuse environment and there’s no excuse for not going out there and performing.

“We have worked hard this week, harder than any other team can work in this league this past week and on the back of that we must make sure that we don’t let ourselves down on Saturday.”


Bryan Rennie makes his first league appearance on Saturday as Bristol go in search of a first victory at Clifton Lane since 2009

The former Exeter utility back recovers from injury sustained during pre-season to start on the wing.

Liam Middleton makes a further five changes from the side that suffered a narrow 21-22 loss to Moseley last week.

Mike Tagicakibau and Matthew Jones are included in the backline, while Kyle Traynor, Roy Winters and Tom Channon come into the pack.

Bristol continue with a five forwards and two backs split on the replacements bench, with James Merriman and dual-registered Bath hooker Will Tanner named in the 22-man squad.

Late News

Following today's team run.
Bristol’s Redford Pennycook is out and Ben Glynn comes in.

15 Garry Law (Capt.), 14 Eamonn Sheridan, 13 Lee Blackett, 12 Pale Nonu, 11 Peter Homan,
10 James McKinney, 9 Jimmy Williams
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Barney Maddison, 5 Dan Sanderson
6 Alex Rieder, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Rory Pitman.

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Jamie Kilbane, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Toby Freeman, 20 Mike Doneghan, 21 Mike Whitehead, 22 Joel Gill.

Bristol Rugby
David McIlwaine; Mike Tagicakibau, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, Bryan Rennie
Matthew Jones, Ruki Tipuna; Kyle Traynor, Tom Channon, Bruce Douglas
Mariano Sambucetti, Roy Winters, Iain Grieve (c), Ben Glynn, Mitch Eadie.

Will Tanner, Mark Lilley, Wayne Thompson, Ben Glynn
James Merriman, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts.

What The Papers Say

Rotherham Advertiser
Andre Bester will warn his players to beware of Bristol, despite the West Court side’s promotion challenge having already looked to have faltered.

The Memorial Ground men have looked unimpressive this season with three defeats from their five games, including last Friday’s shock 22-21 home defeat at the hands of Moseley.

But Bester says it won’t be a Saturday stroll.

Full Story www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk

The Bristol Post
Liam Middleton has not looked back at Bristol's 44-6 defeat at Clifton Lane last October in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Yorkshire.

But the way Rotherham dismantled their visitors that day was the perfect example of how dangerous they can be on their own patch when they get things right.

The combination of a narrow field and physically dominant pack make Rotherham a difficult opponent at Clifton Lane.

As Middleton said: "Their pack is significantly heavier than most international packs that played in the recent four nations competition."

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Other News

Rotherham Titans have have brought in back-rower Joe Ellyatt, following a series of injury concerns within their squad, primarily with Latu Makaafi, who broke his collarbone against Jersey a fortnight ago.

Joe Ellyatt is no stranger to Clifton Lane as he was a Trialist during pre-season with the Titans. Jersey-born Ellyatt can play anywhere in the back row and at 6’ 3” and 16 stones, he’s sure to add further physicality to the Rotherham pack.

Ellyatt was previously part of the Bath Academy system and was the youngest player to represent Jersey Rugby Club, when they competed in London 1. He also played with Club Hampshire for five years and represented Bath in the Middlesex 7’s at Twickenham in 2009.

Titans Head Coach Andre Bester commented on Ellyatt’s return, “Joe impressed us pre-season; I think in his pre-season stats he was one of the quickest guys around.

He did impress in pre-season, however, we chose not to go with him at that stage and he was a bit unlucky. But we also knew that the first time we picked up any injuries in that department we would go back to him.

Nottingham v Jersey - Sunday 15:00

Nottingham Jersey Rugby Nottingham v Jersey
Sunday 7th October
Meadow Lane
Kick Off 3pm

Live Commentaries
BBC Radio Jersey


Nottingham scrum half Sean Romans says the Green and Whites are determined to pick up against Jersey where they left off against London Scottish last week.

It’s the self-belief shown in the 54-9 victory that the New Zealander vows the East Midlands club will strive to replicate in their second home game at Meadow Lane in nine days.

“What we showed last week was a bit of confidence,” Romans said.

“It just showed that we can be dangerous off quick ball and we are dangerous when we hold the ball, get into high phase counts and keep pressure on for periods.”

“The forwards did a fantastic job, the set pieces were great and you can see the difference that quick ruck ball makes when it opens a whole lot of possibilities for playmakers.”

“By no means was it an excellent performance. We’ve looked through the game and there are definitely bits that we weren’t happy with, but it’s a good result to get after a few losses and something to really build on now.”

Nottingham step out in their new, hot pink, charity shirt on Sunday, but that is the biggest change this week.

Green and Whites head coach Martin Haag makes just one alteration to his starting XV to face the RFU Championship newcomers, with Jack Cobden named on the right wing.

Haag is keen to see the fully fit 23-year-old in action, ushering him in to replace David Jackson.

Having been struck by a foot injury in the final two weeks of pre-season, Cobden has been forced to cool his heels in the opening month of the campaign.

He returned to full training a fortnight ago and has pressed a compelling case for selection.

With Jackson and up-and-comer Ryan Hough featuring on the wing already this season, Haag is eager to rotate his options.

“We have depth in the position and like Houghy before him, Jacko has done a great job for us in the three games he’s played and got better with every game,” Haag said.

“Cobo hasn’t had a run yet this season and I want to see him in action.”


Jersey travel to Nottingham this weekend for their first ever Sunday fixture at this level, and still seeking that elusive first win since promotion to the Championship.

Buoyed by good second half displays against Rotherham last time on the road, and Bedford at home last weekend, the team is finding its feet and gaining self-belief.

Ben Harvey rings a few changes from the starting lineout last week with Thompson, Griffiths and Sanders all regaining starting berths having been catalyst to the turnaround in fortunes of the side in the second half last Saturday.

The other noticeable change is Le Bourgeois taking over responsibilities at Fly half with Broadfoot dropping out of contention altogether.

Markham comes in for Anderson in the 2nd row, and Vaoileti gives way to Trower who returns after a week off. Felton also returns to the bench having recovered from a knock sustained at Rotherham.

Harvey remains upbeat and positive about his side’s chances this weekend whilst mindful of Nottingham’s good start to the season.

“In the last two games we have had periods of play that really show our potential, and have started scoring tries with pace and panache, as was commonplace last term.

We know that we have to reduce the penalty count and lapses of concentration that have cost us dearly to date, and in training I have reiterated the need to go from the off and not let the opposition get a foothold, as has happened in the previous two games. A win is on its way.”

15 Andrew Savage 14 Jack Cobden 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane
10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans
1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu 5 Nic Rouse
6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson (c) 8 Alex Shaw.

16 Scott Wright 17 Johnny Harris 18 Joe Quinn 19 Tom Calladine 20 Finaly Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Joe Cobden.

1 Sean McCarthy 2 Steve Boden 3 Ben Evans 4 Nathan Hannay (capt) 5 Dave Markham
6 Kingsley Lang 7 Fred Silcock 8 Guy Thompson
9 Nicky Griffiths 10 Mike Le Bourgeois
11 Ed Dawson 12 Dai Bishop 13 Donovan Sanders 14 Glenn Bryce 15 Barry Davies

16 Dave Felton 17 Richard Barrington 18 James Gethings 19 Paul Rogers
20 Nick Trower 21 Dave McCormack 22 Ashley Maggs

What The Papers Say

Nottingham Post
MARTIN Haag is doing a top job at Nottingham Rugby, says chairman Alistair Bow.

Haag has led the Green and Whites to three wins against Leeds, Moseley and London Scottish in the first five Championship games of his reign at Meadow Lane, after taking over as head coach at the club in the summer.

They also almost pulled off a great win at Bedford Blues, but controversially lost 27-25 in injury time at Goldington Road.

"I'm very happy with Martin and the start we've made to the season," said Bow.

"We've had three good wins and it could have been four.

"The only disappointment so far has been the Rotherham defeat, but we put that right by thrashing London Scottish."

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