Jersey Reds travel to Yorkshire this weekend knowing that they'll face a fired-up home team at Clifton Lane in Rotherham.
Rotherham Titans may be bottom of the Greene King IPA Championship table, but the home side are far from ready to call time on a 14-season stay at level two. With successive home matches against their nearest rivals Jersey and London Scottish, Titans have a chance to make up lost ground.
The Reds' ambition is to move away from the bottom of the table and build on their 20-15 win over Scottish at Stade Santander International last Friday, a result that ended a run of four Championship defeats for Harvey Biljon's side.
The Reds' Head Coach makes three changes to his starting XV for Saturday's match. Apakuki Ma'afu is back in midfield after injury, replacing injured skipper Scott van Breda, but Ma'afu's regular centre partner Mark Best has been ruled unfit and Ellis Abrahams is given an opportunity in what will be his second Championship start for the side he joined this summer.
The other change is in the back row, which is reshuffled in the absence of number 8 Rory Pitman. Matt Rogerson moves to the back of the scrum with flankers Conor Joyce and Seb Nagle-Taylor packing down either side of him. Prop Jake Woolmore will skipper the side.
Jersey's bench is unchanged from the last outing, with the exception of lock Tom Quarrie, who comes in for Rory Bartle and is in line to make his Championship debut.
The two sides have been evenly-matched during their five seasons competing against each other at Championship level, and with a win apiece in 2016/17. At Clifton Lane last November, Jersey led 9-16 after 70 minutes but were overhauled thanks to a late brace of tries from Ben Foley, both converted by debutant Caolan Ryan - it finished 23-16 to the Yorkshiremen. Red revenge came in the return match at St Peter in March, although the home side trailed at half-time and only secured the points after a late Nick Haining try that made the final score 17-9. Overall Rotherham have five wins to Jersey's four over the 10 encounters, with one draw.
The Reds will face opposition from the 'White Rose County' in successive weekends, as Yorkshire Carnegie are the next visitors to Stade Santander International for a Championship encounter that kicks off at 3pm on Saturday November 25th. Advance tickets are available via THIS LINK
Jersey Reds squad v Rotherham Titans (A) - Greene King IPA Championship Round 9/22, Saturday November 18th, Clifton Lane; k-o 2pm
Jake Woolmore (capt)
Jared Saunders, Roy Godfrey, Leeroy Atalifo, Tom Quarrie, Uili Kolo'ofa'i; Joel Dudley, Oli Bryant
17 Nov 2022
Old rivals both seek to stretch start-of-season winning run to 10 games