AFTER nearly 18 long months without a competitive fixture, some kind of normality will finally return to Rotherham Rugby Club tomorrow.
Rotherham Titans take on Wharfedale in their National Two North opener at Clifton Lane (2pm) in an occasion which will be warmly welcomed by match-starved supporters.
Visitors Wharfedale know their way around the division and are traditionally strong at their ground up at Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales.
But Titans are being primed to face a "Green Machine" team which will arrive ready for a battle.
“It will be a very, very physical game,” said Titans team chief Steve Salvin. “People keep telling me we have played Wharfedale in the last two pre-seasons and been beaten twice. If that's not enough of a warning shot then I don't know what is.
“I'm expecting a tight game and to come up against a physical, organised and cohesive team and obviously as a group we need to appreciate that.”
Relegated from National One last year on a mathematical formula after the pandemic struck, Rotherham are one of the favourites to challenge for the one solitary promotion place back and have laced their squad with some good experience.
But as the pre-season defeats to Sale FC (61-12) and Leeds Tykes (26-13) showed, Titans are still short of cohesion heading into tomorrow's opener.
Salvin added: “I think it is probably going to take us a little bit of time to really hit our straps.
“When you are 18 months out and you bring 22 players into a 30-man squad it will take a little bit of time to get cohesive and we are seeing that.
“It is a long season. The business end comes in the last ten games, not the first ten games. You could argue that's when we need to be at our absolute best.
“Thirty games is a lot of games and a lot can happen in that time. We just have to make sure we are consistently improving.”
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