Powerful Leeds Carnegie forward Ryan Burrows says Lee Blackett’s quick transition to coaching comes as no surprise at all.
Blackett has overseen a bright start for Rotherham Titans in his first few months as head coach, with the South Yorkshire club visiting Headingley tomorrow as the top club in the county.
Leeds themselves have been no slouches and a victory in the first Yorkshire Regiment Trophy encounter of the season could see them overtake their White Rose rivals in the Greene King IPA Championship.
But regardless of the result tomorrow, Burrows believes it should not detract from the job his old Leeds team-mate is doing at his former club Rotherham.
“When playing with Lee you could sense that he would make a good coach,” said Burrows, one of Leeds’s high-impact players in the front row.
“He has a sound knowledge of the game and he has been great for them this season. He makes things simple for the players and I know they have a lot of respect for him.
Burrows is one of two former Rotherham players in the Leeds line-up, while there are five ex-Carnegie men in the Rotherham squad.
Burrows, who swapped Clifton Lane for Headingley two years ago, said: “It’s always the first game I look out for when the fixtures come out so I am certainly looking forward to facing them.
“I still live in Rotherham and know a few of the lads in the team and they are in a confident mood and rightfully so because they are going really well this season.
“I’ve been really impressed with them this year and they deserve to be doing well in the league.
“We know it will be a tough game, they have some strong and direct ball carriers in their team and they also have some good backs, like Juan Pablo Socino who is one of the best inside centres in the division.”
Leeds head coach James Lowes has made two changes from the side that lost to London Welsh last week with James Currie back from injury at prop and Joe Graham replacing Phil Nilsen at hooker.
For Rotherham, Curtis Wilson returns on the wing for Jamie Broadley while Alfie To’oala replaces Ed Williamson at No 8.
Blackett said: “We are relishing going into the game as the underdog. Leeds have shown they are a very good side and we know they will provide us with a stern challenge.”