Alex Codling will have no active role in today’s Yorkshire derby with Leeds Carnegie – but that does not mean he will not be as nervous as any spectator on the sideline.
Rotherham’s new head coach has a watching brief this afternoon before taking the reins full-time on Monday.
And he has vowed not to interfere with team affairs out of respect for the work stand-in player-coaches Mike Whitehead and Lee Blackett have done in preparing the team for such a big game.
“It’s important that the players and Mike and Lee know that I won’t interfere,” said Codling, who is relishing the prospect of taking charge next week.
“It’s only right Mike and Lee take the team after preparing them all week, even though I’ve never been in this situation before and am the worst watcher there is.
“I’ll be on the edge of my seat as much as the next man. Mike and Lee will remain part of the coaching set-up with me, it’s important we keep some stability.”
Codling met the Titans’ players and staff for the first time on Wednesday night and was impressed with what he found in the home dressing room at Clifton Lane.
“It was a good chance to meet the guys face to face and it was a very positive experience,” said the new head coach.
Codling will take training four days a week once he arrives at Clifton Lane to begin his two-year contract on Monday.
Firstly, though, Leeds are intent on delivering a win which would strengthen their Championship top-four place and also see them edge closer to being crowned kings of the county.
Today’s game is part of the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy which sees them, Rotherham and Doncaster Knights battling to be deemed the Broad Acres’ finest team.
Both have defeated Doncaster already so this fixture could have a major say on the overall outcome.
“We’ve made no secret of the fact we want to represent this county and be the top side in Yorkshire,” said coach Diccon Edwards, whose Leeds side are buoyant after emphatic wins over London Scottish and Moseley.
“We want to make sure that at the end of the season we can look back having done that. But we recognise Rotherham’s threat and must ensure our performance is as good as it has been recently.”
Leeds have granted hooker Harry Hannan a release and he is expected to join Titans next week.