Titans make five changes for Bedford trip

Web stock pictures.
Web stock pictures.

Rotherham Titans have made five changes to the starting line-up that drew 9-9 away at Munster for their Boxing Day visit to Bedford Blues, which kicks off at Goldington Road at 3pm.

Bedford currently lay second in the league having lost just two games to date - both of which were narrow defeats to Bristol and Newcastle - as Rotherham expect a stern examination on Boxing Day.

Titans make one change to their backline with captain Garry Law starting at full-back, meaning Fergus Mulchrone switches to the wing as Joel Gill is given a rest.

Marshall Gadd comes into the side at loosehead prop for Jamie Kilbane, while Dan Baines makes a welcome return at hooker, following a six-week lay-off with a rib injury.

Ben Thomas makes his first start for the club in the second row and, completing the changes, Carl Kirwan comes back in at openside flanker.

The Boxing Day fixture will be the 34th meeting between the clubs, with Bedford hold a 19-13 overall advantage, with one game drawn, the 38-38 thriller at Clifton Lane back in September.

The last time Titans came away from Goldington Road with a victory was in November 2006 when a late Gareth Steenson penalty ensured a 34-32 win for the South Yorkshire outfit.

Looking ahead to the holiday clash, Titans Head Coach Alex Codling said: “Going to Bedford will present us with a huge challenge; they are one of the form sides in the division alongside Nottingham and Newcastle.

“However, on the back of our result away to Munster, the boys’ confidence is high and we’ll go there and give it a real go.

“Our aim is to win as many games as possible from here on in and we’ll see where that takes us at the end of the season.

“There’ll be a big crowd down there on Boxing Day and the atmosphere will be electric, but we have prepared well and are fully focused on the job at hand.”

Titans: 1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Ben Thomas, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Toby Freeman, 9 Charlie Mulchrone, 10 James McKinney, 11 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Lee Blackett, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 14 Peter Homan, 15 Garry Law (C). Replacements: 16 Harry Hannan, 17 Gareth Denman, 18 Alex Rieder, 19 Joe Ellyatt, 20 Pale Nonu, 21 Ben Howard, 22 Jimmy Williams.