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Nottingham winger Crane fit for Titans clash

RHYS Crane returns to Nottingham's wing for their first RFU Championship game of 2013 after being sidelined with a niggling calf strain in late December.

Crane London Scottish

WING IT: Rhys Crane is back fit for Nottingham's first game of 2013.

Crane's inclusion for the trip to Clifton Lane to face Rotherham is one of three changes made to the Green and Whites starting side that overcame Moseley on December 23.

Tom Calladine's impressive form as an impact player in recent weeks is rewarded as he takes his place at No. 8. Alex Shaw, who has started every league game to date this season, moves onto the bench.

Jonny Harris comes in for Matt Parr at loosehead prop.

England under-20 lock Tom Price joins the Leicester Tigers dual-registered contingent at Meadow Lane and is poised to make his debut off the bench.

Nottingham head coach Martin Haag anticipates a difficult trip to Clifton Lane to face the side that inflicted the first loss of the season on the Green and Whites at Meadow Lane in September.

"With every game we test ourselves, our skills, character and belief and that is what we will need huge amounts of at Rotherham. It is another game on our journey," Haag said.

"We don't read into what happened last time. That was a long time ago, they played well that day and a lot has changed since then."

Nottingham starts the New Year sitting in third place on the Championship ladder, five points ahead of Cornish Pirates with a game in hand.

Haag is aware of the strong chasing pack just outside the top four, and chooses to ignore them to concentrate all attention on the short trip to Yorkshire.

"We can't control what Cornish Pirates are doing, what Bristol are doing, Newcastle or Leeds or Doncaster, we can only control how we perform and the only thing we are concentrated on is Rotherham," Haag said.

"The only pressure that we have is on ourselves, the pressure to perform, individually and collectively."

Nottingham Rugby team to face Rotherham at Clifton Lane on Saturday, January 5 (2pm kick-off):15 David Jackson 14 Alex Lewington 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans 1 Jonny Harris 2 Shaun Malton 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu 5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson 8 Tom Calladine.

Replacements from:16 Scott Wright 17 Ryan Bower 18 Tom Price 19 Alex Shaw 20 Finlay Barnham 21 Joe Cobden 22 Andy Forsyth.


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