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Preview: Bristol Rugby v Rotherham Titans

Bristol Rugby v Rotherham Titans
Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-final first leg
Ashton Gate
Saturday, May 2nd, 1.30pm

Bristol Rugby take on Rotherham Titans in the Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-final first leg this Saturday lunchtime at Ashton Gate (1.30pm kick-off).

Lee Blackett’s Titans produced a stunning end-of-season run to claim six out of seven victories to secure the final spot in the league and another shot in the play-offs for the second season running.

Wins over Yorkshire Carnegie, Cornish Pirates, Moseley, Doncaster, Nottingham and London Scottish have seen the Clifton Lane side come nicely into form at the right time of the year.

The only loss in that run came at the hands of Bristol, who secured a two point win in March, although James McKinney saw a last minute conversion attempt fade wide.

Following Saturday’s first leg at Ashton Gate, Rotherham host Bristol at Abbeydale in a repeat of last season’s play-off semi final on Sunday, May 10th (1.45pm KO).

Team News

Andy Robinson – whose side secured top spot in the Championship – makes nine changes for the Ashton Gate clash.

Charlie Amesbury is the only survivor from the backline that ended Worcester’s unbeaten run at Sixways, as Jack Wallace and David Lemi return to the back three.

Gareth Maule and Gavin Henson make up the centre partnership, while Matthew Morgan and skipper Dwayne Peel are selected.

In the pack, Ross McMillan and Gaston Cortes are included in the front row, while Ryan Jones is named at blindside flanker.

Bristol revert to a four forwards and three backs split on the replacements bench.

Bristol Rugby team to face Rotherham Titans at Ashton Gate on Saturday, 2 May (1.30pm KO):

Jack Wallace; David Lemi, Gareth Maule, Gavin Henson, Charlie Amesbury; Matthew Morgan, Dwayne Peel (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross McMillan, Gaston Cortes, Glen Townson, Mark Sorenson, Ryan Jones, Jack Lam, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Chris Brooker, Anthony Perenise, Ben Glynn, Marco Mama, Tom Kessell, Nicky Robinson, Jack Tovey.