Rotherham flanker Jack Preece has warned the rest of the Championship that they face a bigger and fitter Titans pack this season.
The assertion from outside that Rotherham had a weak pack is one that wrankled with head coach Lee Blackett, who felt his front eight were as mobile around the field as any other unit in the second tier.
In preparation for another assault on the Championship’s top four, Blackett set his men a rigorous weights and running schedule in the two months of pre-season to strengthen them for the challenges ahead.
And west countryman Preece for one, has relished improving his physical mass.
“The first month they said we needed to get bigger so we were all doing double weights sessions, then they panicked because we weren’t fit enough so they made us do a load of fitness work,” laughed the 25-year-old.
“And it’s worked because the boys seem to be bigger and fitter than what we expected.
“Pre-season was tougher than last year but we feel a lot better for it.
“We had some good pre-season games and got what we wanted out of it.
“We learnt a lot from last year, it was different coaches and a new set of players, so we knew what we were coming into this year, it wasn’t as much of a surprise.
“It was a bit calmer, but it seemed harder because they knew where they could get us to.”
Preece was instrumental in the team’s run to the play-offs last season, with the overall feeling coming out of that campaign being a mixture of disappointment and pride.
He said: “To get there again will be even tougher with Worcester coming down and Bristol improving.
“We have to just take each game as it comes and do the best we can, that’s all we can do.”