Rotherham Titans begin the new Championship campaign at London Scottish tomorrow without Garry Law, their leading points scorer from last season.
The fly-half is nursing an ankle problem and his place in the Rotherham side goes to James McKinney, one of seven new signings who line-up at Scottish.
Law’s place kicking duties will be taken over by McKinney who impressed during the narrow defeat at Saracens last Sunday. The other new recruits who will be making their debuts in the Championship for Rotherham are: in the pack, Welsh prop Ross Davies and in the back-row flanker Toby Freeman from Cornwall and at number eight Alex Rieder who has joined from Leeds Carnegie.
In the Titans’ threequarters, there are four new faces, two of whom are appearing for the first time in the English league: Irish winger Eamonn Sheridan from Leinster and McKinney from Ulster.
Both have played for Ireland in two Junior World Cups.
Full back Michael Whitehead and centre Lee Blackett, who have rejoined Rotherham after playing for Doncaster and Leeds respectively, can also be classified as new signings but as coach Andre Bester points out: “They are part of a team which is much more experienced than last year’s and in Whitehead’s case, we have one of the best game managers in the Championship. Michael is a class act and we have other guys of high quality such as Blackett, Jamie Kilbane, Barney Maddison and Neale Patrick.
“The important thing at London Scottish and during the rest of the Championship campaign is not to make it difficult for ourselves. At Rotherham we are used to being underdogs, but I believe we are in a better place than last year, we will be more consistent on the pitch and while we do not have individual stars, I am sure the team as a whole will be stars.”
n TITANS: Whitehead, Sheridan, Blackett, Nonu, Homan, McKinney,Williams, Kilbane, Baines, Davies, Maddison, Patrick, Freeman, Kirwan, Rieder. Replacements: Stagg, Gadd, Denman, Makaafi, Sanderson, Pitman, Gill, Mulchrone, Doneghan.