Rotherham expect to play in front of a crowd of 4,000 today at Goldington Road where the Titans take on Bedford who are third in the Championship table and one of the favourites to reach the promotion play-offs.
Rotherham coach Alex Codling has decided to give a place in the pack to new signing Ben Thomas who made an encouraging first appearance for the Titans in the recent 9-9 draw in Cork against Munster in the British and Irish Cup.
Codling will not be afraid to make full use of Rotherham’s backs on the wide pitch at Goldington Road as he moves away from the game plan of Rotherham’s previous coach Andre Bester who preferred to concentrate on his pack.
Rotherham, seventh in the Championship, will do well to leave the East Midlands with a losing bonus point given that Bedford are an outstanding attacking team and, with home advantage, start as clear favourites.
But as Codling, who hopes to make another signing to boost the pack, says: “We took a lot of confidence from our performance at Munster where the boys defended so well.”
The playing surface at Bedford should suit Rotherham centres Lee Blackett and Eamonn Sheridan, and, with fly half James McKinney having the ability to make breaks, Titans’ chances should not be written off.
Codling has stressed the need to avoid conceding kickable penalties because if Rotherham upset the referee, Blues’ Canadian international full-back, James Pritchard, will punish errors as befits one of the best match-winners in the Championship.