Winless Rotherham battling to stop the rot
ANDY KEY returns to Headingley for the first time since he was sacked by Leeds in February 2011.
While personal revenge is not the type of language used by one of the game’s gentleman, a victory today would be sweeter than most.
And how Rotherham could do with one.
Marooned at the bottom of the Championship table after nine straight losses, the Titans know that the clock is ticking on their time in the division.
“The club has a huge history as far as its existence in this league and everyone is fighting to make sure we retain that position. Every week that goes by without a win, you are looking further down the barrel,” the Titans head coach admitted.
“There’s no club in the division that needs a win more than we do, and it will be huge for the confidence of everyone within the club once we get one.
“There are number of guys in our squad that have come through the Yorkshire pathway, and obviously I’ve been involved myself, so it would be good if we were to do it this weekend.
“But we’re at the stage of the season now where we’re halfway through and every game is massively important.”
Key has made three changes to the side that just missed out against London Sottish last week as the Titans go in search of their first win at Carnegie’s HQ since 2014.
Along a reshuffled backline Lee Millar comes in and will start at full-back as Will Thomas moves onto the wing and Drew Cheshire shifts to centre.
While in the pack Toby Williams is given the nod at loose-head over Tom Williams and Matt Postlethwaite comes into the second row as Adam Peters moves to No.8.
Key added: “As a group we have moved on from the Scottish disappointment behind us and concentrate on this weekend against Carnegie. We know we’ll have a hard task on our hands and the lads have built on the confidence they got from what they did last week in what we thought should have been a winning performance.”
Carnegie name Bath new boy Darren Atkins on the bench.
The only change to the starting XV that beat Jersey is at full-back where fit-again Chris Elder replaces Stevie McColl, who has been ruled out with a thigh injury suffered in the win against the Reds.
With first-choice No.10s, Alex Davies (wrist) and Calum Irvine (ankle) sidelined, centre Pete Lucock continues to act as a makeshift fly-half.
“Pete is a runner and if he gets spooked by anything, he’ll carry the ball. I do like that. We do miss an out-and-out 10 though, there’s no question,” said Carnegie head coach Jimmy Lowes.
Props Marc Thomas and Charlie Beech, two 80minute performers in the 20-10 win over the Reds in St Peter, go again in the depleted front row. “We’re looking at a couple of options in that area,” Lowes admitted.
Needs win: Andy Key