Championship: Justin Burnell eager to end Rotherham Titans’ losing streak

Rotherham Titans head coach Justin Burnell. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Rotherham Titans head coach Justin Burnell. Picture: Scott Merrylees

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ROTHERHAM TITANS host Bedford Blues today on the back of seven consecutive Championship defeats.

That is clearly worrying – it cost head coach Mark Jones his job – but at least new chief Justin Burnell saw the winning vibe return in his first game with victory in their B&I Cup fixture against Ealing.

“We got off to a good start against Ealing and that was very pleasing for the whole club; you could see there was a good buzz about the place afterwards,” he said. “Hopefully that’s a good tonic for things to come, but we won’t get carried away.

“Bedford are a very good side and we need a strong work ethic for 80 minutes.

“We’ve watched them in their last couple of games and they’ve scored some really good tries. They pose some really good attacking threats, but it’s now all about the Titans at home.

“I know Mike Rayer really well and he’s done an absolutely fantastic job with Bedford, along with Martin Hines who is also another great guy.

“They’ve been coaching a long time and they’ve been very successful.”

Burnell has made five changes to his starting line-up including scrum-half Luke Carter coming in for injured Dan White and a return for fit-again captain Tom Holmes.

On the bench, the influential Barney Maddison is back and hooker George Edgson, on loan from Wasps, is also included.

At the other end of the table, Doncaster Knights make the long trip to Cornish Pirates intent on keeping the pressure on leaders Bristol.

Fly-half Dec Cusack moves to full-back following the injury to Paul Jarvis meaning Simon Humberstone starts at 10 and, in midfield, Leicester Tigers’ 2014/15 young player of the year George Catchpole comes in.

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