Scottish link-up with Harlequins is sure to give the Titans early test of credentials

Rotherham Titans head coach Lee Blackett.
Rotherham Titans head coach Lee Blackett.
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Rotherham Titans head coach Lee Blackett has hailed his side’s first opponents in the new Championship campaign as the team to watch in the second tier.

Blackett’s Titans visit London Scottish, a club who Rotherham beat to the top four last year but one he expects to respond strongly in the 2014-15 campaign.

Scottish have benefitted from a dual-registration link-up with Harlequins that has seen more first-team players filtered into the squad than Rotherham have gained from a similar deal with Newcastle.

Blackett said: “They’ve recruited really well in the off-season and on paper, and in mine and a lot of other people’s opinions, they’re a top-three squad with only Bristol and Worcester ahead of them.

“If you look at our two games with Scottish last year, we won by a point down there and by two points up here and that was the difference in making the top four and not making it. We know how vital this game’s going to be. We have to start well.”

Rotherham have had a strong pre-season, running Northampton close at Franklin’s Gardens before beating Newcastle at Kingston Park.

“Pre-season for us was about instilling a winning culture,” said Blackett, who added that such is his squad depth, selection in some areas came down to the toss of a coin.