Codling tells Titans to play without fear

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Alex Codling believes the prospect of taking on Premiership-bound Newcastle Falcons is one to be relished – not feared.

Newcastle have swept all before them in the Championship this season, winning 16 games out of 16 as they look to make their exile from the Premiership as brief as possible.

Rotherham, who are all but assured of not being dragged into the relegation battle and are too far removed from the top four to factor in the promotion race, have little to play for other than pride.

But with a crowd in excess of 2,000 expected at Clifton Lane today, Titans head coach Codling wants his troops to go out and prove they are a match for the high-flying Falcons.

“We go into this game with nothing to lose,” said Codling.

“If my players want to show they aspire to be top-tier players then this is the perfect opportunity to prove that against Newcastle.

“Newcastle are a quality outfit but this is a game to relish, not fear.”

Rotherham go into the game on the back of a convincing win over Aberavon in last Saturday’s British and Irish Cup.

“Although that game was effectively a dead rubber, we got a lot of positives out of it,” added Codling.

Doncaster Knights have continued strengthening their squad with the signing of Leeds Carnegie prop Ben Hooper.

In joining the Castle Park outfit, Hooper, 25, completes the set of representing all three Yorkshire teams having joined Leeds from Rotherham Titans.

He comes in as cover for Tomas Francis who could be out for the remainder of the season.

Doncaster’s director of rugby Clive Griffiths said: “We believe Ben fits the mould of player we are after. He is a very experienced player and he will give us solid back-up at prop. ”

Hooper comes into contention for next Saturday’s Yorkshire derby with Rotherham, with today’s equally-important trip to fellow strugglers Moseley coming too soon.

Doncaster have also signed Fijian back-rower Joseva Nayacavou from Scottish Premiership side Heriots Rugby for the remainder of the season.

Former rugby league player Will Sharp makes his debut at outside centre while Brian McGovern replaces the suspended Tom Davies at prop.

Doncaster – who beat Leeds last time out – can climb off the bottom of the Championship with victory.