Nic Rouse has urged his relegated Rotherham Titans squad to sign off in their final Championship game at Clifton Lane with a memorable derby victory.
They host Yorkshire Carnegie today in what could be the last battle with their Broad Acres rivals for some time given Rotherham’s demotion to National One.
Carnegie, hoping for a top-three finish, have not lost against them in the last three years so the task will not be easy for Rouse’s side, who also have managed just one league win all season.
Furthermore, they were abysmal when losing 49-14 at London Scottish last week but the head coach hopes they will dig deep on what could be an emotional afternoon in South Yorkshire.
“We’ve got two games remaining and we want to make sure our performances are right,” said Rouse, who is expected to move on to Nottingham next term.
“If we manage that then we are capable of finishing the season with two victories. This is our final home game of the season and we want to put in a good performance for our supporters; the fans deserve it because they’ve been absolutely fantastic all year.”
This is our final home game of the season and we want to put in a good performance for our supporters; the fans deserve it because they’ve been absolutely fantastic all year.Rotherham Titans head coach, Nic Rouse
Rotherham lost 47-11 at Headingley in December and Rouse admitted: “We know Carnegie are going to be a tough proposition.
“They’re physical up front and we’ll have to deal with that. They will pose us a lot of threats at scrum, line-out and maul time.
“Both teams are obviously going to be really up for it; Carnegie want to finish as high up the table as possible and they had a good result last week against Jersey.
“However, if we can attack them in the way we have done in the last few months we can certainly pose them a few questions.”
Rouse brings in scrum-half Francisco Vieira, inside centre Lee Millar, winger Drew Cheshire and loosehead Tom Williams,.
Lock Matt Postlethwaite comes in as Adam Peters moves to the back-row for Charlie Maddison and Tom Burns starts at blindside for Dan Grange. Winger Tom Bullough makes his first league start for Carnegie as he replaces the injured George Watkins. Louis Brown returns on the other wing, Pete Lucock reverting to fly-half in place of Callum Irvine (hamstring). Loosehead James Thraves replaces Charlie Beech who is named on the bench where Academy star Harry Dunne is waiting to make his debut.