Old boy McKinney returns to Clifton Lane!
Rotherham are thrilled to confirm that ex-Titans fly half James McKinney, has agreed terms to rejoin the South Yorkshire side from Ulster Rugby ahead of the 2014/15 Greene King IPA Championship season.
The news has delighted the club and will no doubt thrill the Clifton Lane faithful. Still only 23 years-old, McKinney has packed in a huge amount of experience for a man of his years.
Following a distinguished schools career, playing for Campbell College and representing Ulster and Irish Schools, McKinney progressed into the Ulster Rugby Academy. There he was selected for the Ulster Ravens, playing in the semi-final of the British and Irish Cup in 2010 against Munster “A”.
McKinney has the distinction of representing Ireland U20′s in consecutive world cups, the 2010 RWC in Argentina and the 2011 RWC in Italy. During the 2010 tour James illustrated his accuracy from the kicking tee with an 83% strike rate.
James joined Rotherham for the 2012/13 season where he made a huge impact, making 24 appearances, scoring 141 points, as he shared kicking duties with club captain Garry Law. McKinney’s prowess is not limited to just his kicking abilities, he’s solid in defence, controls the game well and possesses one of the best passes around, meaning his distribution skills are highly rated.
A surprised but delighted Titans Head Coach, Lee Blackett explained, “James went away and we never thought we’d see him again. He’s got great ability and an outstanding passing game. That’s the thing that everyone says about James, he’s got a great passing game. He likes to control the game, he’s a leader when he’s on the park and it’s going to be great to see him back at Clifton Lane.
I think in Tom Barrett and now James McKinney, we have two fly halves that suit the way we want to play the game and I think we’re going to have great competition for the number ten jersey next season. James had plenty of other options available and so I’m delighted that he’s decided to come back to Rotherham.”
McKinney’s eagerness to return to the Titans was evident, as he revealed, “When the opportunity arose to return to Rotherham it was with a sense of ambitious loyalty that I was eager to pursue it. Following the Titans' exploits throughout the 2013/14 season gave me great pleasure.
“The atmosphere Lee Blackett has created at the club, both on and off the field, is an infectiously positive one, which I look forward to becoming part of. The opportunity to play for a side that I hold dear and owe a lot to, is one that I could not turn down, particularly when the talk of promotion is so prevalent and justified.
“The roar of the shed will be a most welcome ringing in my ears again!”