Having helped the club win promotion in 2013-14, he was sacked at the end of last season having seen his side then lose 27 straight games in the Premiership.
His task now is to save Rotherham from the drop out of the Championship and he has started well with two successive wins, in the B&I Cup against Ealing and last week’s shock league victory over third-placed Bedford Blues, since taking over from Mark Jones.
“Personally I’m really looking forward to going back to London Welsh,” said Burnell, with his former club now struggling in the Championship, too. “There’s a lot of fantastic people connected with the club; from the mini-juniors, where my son played, to the amateurs and supporters, they’re absolutely fantastic people.
“The players they have in abundance mean we’ll go into the game as massive underdogs.
“We have nothing to lose; if the result doesn’t go our way then no one will be surprised. But we’re not going there simply to make up the numbers.
“The pleasing aspect from our last two games is the improvement the boys have shown. Even in training this week, the intensity and approach from the whole squad has impressed me and that’s a massive plus.”
Doncaster – who head to London Scottish today – could secure their own top-four place if results go their way this weekend.
Mat Clark, who has signed a new contract alongside fellow centres Andrew Bulumakau and Will Hurrell, returns for George Catchpole in the only change to their side that won at Cornish Pirates. “We know the scenarios and what needs to happen to be absolutely sure but we have no doubt there will be a few more twists and turns before the end of the season,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.