Rugby union: Rotherham Titans’ Mark Jones calls for more aggression

Tom Barrett
Tom Barrett

Rotherham coach Mark Jones is demanding that his forwards show much more aggression in tomorrow’s Championship game against bottom club Moseley at Clifton Lane.

As the Titans aim to gain revenge against the Birmingham side -w inners at Clifton Lane on Boxing Day last year - Jones is also insisting that his pack improve significantly in two areas which cost them a win at Bristol last Sunday.

“ I want our forwards’ display to be really aggressive in the scrums and lineouts and also when we are fighting for the ball in the loose,” he said.

“We played good rugby in patches at Bristol and created lots of opportunities, but we lost the ball too often as Bristol turned it over.

“That must not happen against Moseley who are a dogged side. When they’ve lost this season so far, it’s not been by many points.

“So I’m looking to the players to react positively after we lost on Sunday.”

The one major change in the Rotherham pack sees Welsh hooker Darran Harris making his Championship debut after impressing as a replacement.

“ Darran takes over from Charlie Maddison who’s being doing well, but it’s time to give Darran a chance,” Jones said.

“He’s an effective ball-carrier, has explosive pace like a centre and is an aggressive tackler,” explained Jones.

Australian number eight Tim Cree returns from injury and joins flankers Max Argyle and Ali Birch in the back row to take on a Moseley team that has won only once in five league matches.

The Titans’ backs also change.

An ankle injury to fly-half Will Goodwin keeps him out, so he’s replaced by Tom Barrett,and Jones has preferred to recall Luke Carter at scrum-half and put Andy Davies on the bench.

Elsewhere, winger Michael Keating, having recovered from a chest and shoulder injury, returns at the expense of Curtis Wilson who hurt his leg at Bristol.

One of Rotherham’s new signings, centre Will Owen, is particularly looking forward to the Moseley clash.

Owen spent two seasons with the Birmingham club before being recruited last summer by Lee Blackett, the Titans’ previous coach.

Titans: Scanlon, Rath, L Hayes, Owen,Keating, Barrett, Carter, Hislop, Harris, Thiede, Holmes, B Maddison, Argyle, Birch, Cree. Replacements: Jones, A Davies, Tampin, Cromie, C Maddison, Oram, Preece.