The battle to fill the last two places in the promotion play- offs is shaping up to be a fascinating one between Rotherham, Bristol, Plymouth and Esher who are separated in the table by only six points.

Rotherham and Bristol are the sides currently in the box seat, but Plymouth kept up the pressure with a 22-21 win over the Titans last week. Albion now take on Esher, the side immediately below them in the table, in the first of two home games with a rearranged midweek derby against Cornish Pirates also to come. An Alex Davies penalty seven minutes from time saw Plymouth leave Clifton Lane with four priceless points.

Bristol, meanwhile, lost the chance to cancel out the advantage 24 hours later despite giving Worcester a run for their money. In the end, twenty- seven points from Andy Goode, including two tries, was enough to see the Warriors to victory. Richard Hill’s men have a 12- point cushion at the top of the table over Bedford, the visitors to Sixways on Saturday. The Blues lost ground after their nine- game unbeaten run came to an end with a 23-13 loss at Cornish Pirates.

The Pirates go to Rotherham, where they lost 29-20 last season, and London Welsh, who but for the width of the crossbar would have been beaten at Doncaster, will be out to avenge last month’s B&I Cup defeat at the hands of Moseley when the Birmingham side visit Old Deer Park. The Bees are at home to Doncaster.

Saturday 8 January

London Welsh v Moseley, 14:00

Plymouth Albion v Esher, 15:00

Rotherham Titans v Cornish Pirates, 14:00

Worcester v Bedford, 15:00

Sunday 9 January

Birmingham & Solihull v Doncaster, 15:00

Nottingham v Bristol, 15:00