Ex Titans Skipper returns to the Lane
Titans Rugby are pleased to announce that former Club Captain Lee Blackett has re-joined the Club.
Twenty nine year old Blackett will renew his association with the South Yorkshire outfit after spending the intervening six years with Yorkshire rivals Leeds Carnegie.
Blackett made his debut for the Titans back in January 2004 against the then top-of-the-table Bath in the Guinness Premiership, a match which was played at Millmoor in front of 6,195 spectators.
Before leaving the Lane for West Yorkshire, Blackett made 53 appearances for the club scoring 11 tries, a conversion and one drop-goal!
Whilst in the Premiership, Blackett achieved a piece of history by scoring the quickest try in the history of the Premiership after eight seconds, against Newcastle Falcons in March 2008.
Originally a product of the Rotherham Academy, Lee went on to captain the side despite being just 23 at the time. Lee has gained representative honours with England Universities and Students in 2004 and England Counties in 2005, when he went on a tour of South America with the squad.
Blackett is genuinely pleased to be returning to the club where it all started for him, as he explained, “I’ve said all along that I would love to come back to Rotherham and I’m delighted that the opportunity has arisen to enable me to do just that. Obviously I know what Andre brings having worked with him during my first spell with the club and I know his style and it was an easy decision to make to come back to Rotherham.
“Rotherham was where it all started for me; the club gave me a lot. I came through the Academy here when the club was in the Premiership. They gave me the opportunity of first team rugby and I made my debut for Rotherham against Bath in the Premiership at Millmoor. The club gave me my first taste of Premiership rugby and then I went on to Play Premiership rugby week in and week out consistently.
“It’s something I feel I owe the club, but more than that I just love the place and it’s somewhere where I wanted to come back to at some point in my career. I think the major thing for me wanting to come back at this moment in time is looking at the squad that Andre has assembled. I think without a shadow of doubt it’s the best squad I’ve seen here since the Premiership days and I think it’s a great opportunity to do something special here this year.”
Lee continued to explain where he may fit in and how some of his qualities may bring benefit to the group, “I’ve always thought me best position is in the middle, although I have played a lot of rugby on the wing. Having spoken to Andre I would anticipate playing the majority of my rugby here in the centres.
“Andre has spoken about my leadership qualities and I’d like to bring that aspect of my game to the party and I think he wants a leader in the middle and hopefully that’s me. There are also other leaders in the back line and obviously Garry (Law) stands out as one of those players and he’s also very experienced. I think without doubt Garry was one of the stand-out players in the Championship last season.”
Lee went on to talk about the change in structure of the Championship and the benefits of playing at Clifton Lane, “The change in structure this season with only the top 4 going on into the play-offs shouldn’t cause us too much concern, because I believe the quality of squad that Andre is assembling is certainly good enough to achieve a top 4 spot. In fact I would be pretty disappointed if we didn’t hit that mark to be honest, although we know it won’t be easy as there are a number of very good sides in the division.
“I think our home form will be important and we must make Clifton Lane a real fortress as it has been. I know coming here, even though I enjoyed playing here, everyone else in the squad was down and saying, “Oh no we’re playing at Rotherham.” because they didn’t like coming here.
“They seemed to have this perception that it’s a dump. Some people may feel it is a dump, but it’s our dump and that’s the kind of mentality we need to have. I know every player who plays for the club, love playing here at Clifton Lane, there’s just something very special about the place. How the crowd seem to be on top of you and they seem to affect the decisions you get. It’s a great thing to have on your side and as I’ve said, I’m really happy to be back here.”