Titans bring in 5 new players

Rotherham Titans are delighted to announce that a further five new recruits have been signed up for the RFU Championship 2013-14 season.

Hookers Ben Sowery and Tom Cruse, centres Lloyd Hayes and Jamie Broadley and scrum half Dan White have all penned deals which will make sure there is plenty of competition within the Titans squad next season.

Ben Sowery joins the Titans having made the short journey up the M18 from Doncaster Knights. The 22 years-old has had spells at Wharfedale, Harrogate and at Leeds Carnegie Academy, whilst he has gained representative honours for England U18, North of England U20 & Yorkshire U17, U18 and U20.

At 6’ and weighing 103kg, Sowery will bring a physical presence to the group; this combined with his skill levels ensures the Titans are getting a quality Championship performer.

Tom Cruse, also a hooker, will provide stiff competition for the number 2 jersey at Rotherham next season. Cruse, 24, spent time at the Sale Sharks Academy where he gained some limited LV= Cup experience. He’s also played for Macclesfield and his home-town club Stockport.

Commenting on the two hookers, Titans Head Coach Lee Blackett said, “I think with bringing Ben and Tom in it shows the way we are moving forward. Ben and Tom are two young hookers who are desperate to be with us here; they are Northern lads that hopefully will be around the club for a number of years and more importantly they fit into our game plan. They are both very dynamic around the field; they offer themselves very effectively in terms of carrying the ball and in their defensive work. 

“We are very sad to have lost all three of our hookers this year with Dan Baines, Ted Stagg and Harry Hannan all leaving the club. However, with Ben and Tom coming in, we see these two young players fighting it out to make the number 2 jersey their own. We have a potentially a third guy coming in who can also cover the hooker position.”

Centre Lloyd Hayes is an exciting signing from Chester and one that Titans supporters may remember from last season. Lloyd had a trial spell at Clifton Lane in February and as a result started in the Titans home B&I Cup match against Aberavon, scoring a try in Titans 49-7 victory.

Hayes, who hails from Sychdyn, Flintshire in North-East Wales has just enjoyed a successful season at Chester; helping them to win National Division 3 North and scoring a remarkable 30 tries in the season. Hayes was also extremely successful with the boot, adding a further 245 points, bringing his seasons haul to a lofty 395!

Centre Jamie Broadley arrives at the club from near-neighbours Sheffield Tigers and brings with him a terrific reputation of a try-scoring centre. Jamie has scored 26 league tries for the Tigers this term and the former Harrogate man who stands at just under 6 foot and weighs 15 stone, is expected to make his mark in next season’s Championship.

Blackett is delighted to have two young, ambitious backs at the club for next season and explained, “With the two centres we’ve brought in, it’s fair to say we know much more about Jamie Broadley. Jamie’s played around 100 league games and scored about 90-odd tries, which is an incredible return. I’ve been to Tigers on numerous occasions and seen him play and I’ve been massively impressed by what I’ve seen from him. Jamie is a very versatile player; he’s not just a centre he can play anywhere in the back three.

“We had Lloyd up here in February and he played for us in the B&I Cup against Aberavon. We saw enough of Lloyd when he was with us for that week to see he has a huge amount of potential. It’s up to Lloyd to come here and show everyone just what he can do. There’s no doubt in my mind, he was the best player in the National Division 3 North last season and we are looking forward to working with him and improving him as a player.”

Bringing up the quintet is scrum half Dan White. Born in Hull, the twenty-four years-old came to prominence after been spotted by former Leeds boss Stuart Lancaster who offered him an Academy contract in 2007. Dan joined Leeds Carnegie from Hull RUFC and he was part of the England U18 squad who toured Australia in the summer of 2007. He’s had loan spells with Nottingham, Sedgley Park, Harrogate and Otley.

Dan made his Leeds debut in the 2008-09 season at Championship level. During his time at Leeds Dan gained valuable experience as he figured in their LV= Cup and Aviva Premiership campaigns, whilst also gaining representative honours for England at U20 level. His last season at Leeds was the 2011-12 campaign where he featured eight times. Dan spent last season with his home-town club Hull RUFC in National League 2 North.

Lee Blackett knows Dan very well from his time at Leeds and explained, “Knowing Dan as I do, I can assure everyone we are getting a very good scrum half. He had massive potential a couple of years ago; he was playing England U20’s, but unfortunately around that time he broke his leg in the year that was going to be his breakthrough season in the Premiership.

“He came back from that injury and played some rugby for Leeds the following season in the Championship. From Leeds he went to Hull RUFC last year and worked very hard on his game management and as a result, in my opinion he’s a much better player now. Two years ago there were several Premiership sides after him and we know he has the potential to compete at the highest level again and there’s no doubt he will push Charlie Mulchrone all the way next season.”