Titans focused on task of defeating Bristol

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Strengthened by their win over Plymouth last Saturday, Rotherham Titans head to ambitious Bristol intent on upsetting the apple cart.

The West Country side may have the history and the pedigree, but Rotherham have defeated them in four of their last five meetings.

However, Bristol, who Rotherham beat 23-16 at Clifton Lane in the sutumn, have not lost at home since September.

Head coach Alex Codling said: “Bristol are an outstanding side, they have a lot of experience and a lot of leaders within their squad and they are very focused on getting back into the Premiership.

“But we are in good shape after last weekend, we know we played well in parts, but we also know there are areas where we can improve too.

“You know when you play sides like Bristol and Newcastle you have to be at your very best if you are going to win, but it also focuses the mind on the task in hand.

“Bristol have a very strong set- piece and the driving maul is a key aspect for them.”

Former Leeds player Harry Hannan makes his first start for the Titans at hooker while player-coach Lee Blackett comes in at inside centre in place of Palepoi Nonu.

Bristol are set next week to name former England and Scotland head coach Andy Robinson as their new director of rugby. Robinson will take over next season.