Bedford Blues v Rotherham Titans: Timely numbers boost for Titans ahead of Bedford test

Rotherham Titans head coach, Justin Burnell. Picture: Scott Merrylees
Rotherham Titans head coach, Justin Burnell. Picture: Scott Merrylees
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ROTHERHAM TITANS have signed five Gloucester players on dual-registration to bolster their squad in tonight’s Championship game at Bedford Blues.

The South Yorkshire club have won just one of their four games since an opening-day victory over London Welsh and are in need of points.

Head coach Justin Burnell has looked to Premiership outfit Gloucester to recruit prop Josh McNulty, lock Joe Batley, back-row Freddie Clarke, fly-half Lloyd Evans and centre Tom Hudson.

All are included in the 22-man squad this evening with Clarke and Hudson both starting, replacing George Oliver and Joe Barker respectively.

Bedford had lost their opening four games but picked up a first win with a 34-14 success against promoted Richmond last Saturday, while Rotherham fell 37-21 at home to unbeaten Yorkshire Carnegie.

“We were disappointed to lose against a good Carnegie side; we were a bit loose at times and we need to mature as a group and mature quickly,” said Burnell.

“We want to rectify our mistakes from that game when we travel to Bedford.

“We are looking forward to going there but we’ll need to improve if we are to do ourselves justice.

“Bedford are a good side but unfortunately for them they’ve had some tough early-season games against Jersey, London Irish and Doncaster.

“That’s why they’re not higher up the league at this moment. They’re a very expansive team who play some attractive rugby and they’re helped by their dual-registered players from Wasps.

“We’ve done the same this week by bringing in five dual-registered boys from Gloucester and I’d like to say a massive thanks to David Humphreys and Neil McCarthy for being so helpful in arranging the players to come to Rotherham.”

Burnell makes four changes to his starting XV with the aforementioned Clarke and Hudson but also former Bedford loosehead prop Tom Williams replacing Toby Williams and lock Miles Normandale takes Toby Salmon’s spot. McNulty, Batley and Evans are joined on the bench by James Sanderson, who keeps his place in the squad following his try-scoring debut last week.