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London Welsh v London Irish Premiership Preview


London Welsh host London Irish at the Kassam Stadium

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Article Published: Friday 30 November 2012


London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has kept the faith with the players who earned a bonus point against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens for this week's Aviva Premiership clash against London Irish at the Kassam Stadium.

The '"Battle of the Exiles' pits tenth against eleventh in the Aviva Premiership table with Welsh holding a slender four-point advantage.

"The boys were extremely disappointed after last week's game to only come away from Franklin's Gardens with a losing bonus point, when we had the ability and the opportunity to get a win," said Jones.

"After their performance last weekend we're backing the same group of players to go out against London Irish and perform again.

"We've a huge amount of respect for London Irish and Brian Smith, and we know how tough a game it's going to be."

The two clubs have enjoyed a close relationship in recent years with seven Irish players appearing for Welsh during the club's Championship winning campaign last season. In addition, Jack Moates and Max Lahiff both lined up for Welsh in the final against the Cornish Pirates, with Moates crossing for a late try in the second leg.

The sides may now be Premiership rivals but there's still more than a hint of London Irish in the Welsh ranks. Romanian prop Paulica Ion, is on a season long loan at Welsh, while fellow prop James Tideswell spent several seasons at Sunbury.

The two sides have met frequently in pre-season. The last meeting between the clubs ended in a 30-21 victory for London Irish at Sunbury in August 2011.

London Welsh have slipped to three straight defeats in all competitions. The Exiles' won their most recent Aviva Premiership Rugby encounter at Kassam Stadium: 16-9 over Bath on 4 November.

London Irish have lost their last three Premiership matches and have won just once on the road in the competition since September 2011: 25-16 at Worcester on 21 April.

The two teams have played just twice before in league play - way back between 1987-89 in Courage League division two with Irish winning on both occasions.

London Irish have also won their only two previous cup clashes with the Welsh in 1995 and 2000.

Irish have visited Kassam Stadium twice before, losing on both occasions: 27-33 to Pontypridd in the semi-final of the Parker Pen Shield in 2002, and 9-38 to Northampton at the same stage of the Powergen Cup in 2003.

George Skivington returns to partner Bryn Evans in the second row with Matt Garvey moving to the back row. Jebb Sinclair is named as a replacement after returning from his loan with Western Province in South Africa.

London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith said: "Lyn Jones has done a great job at London Welsh, they are a tough side to play and will be tough tomorrow."

"We have prepared well this week and will be ready to go come 1pm tomorrow afternoon."

Match : London Welsh v London Irish
Date : Saturday 1st December
Venue : Kassam Stadium
Kick Off : 1pm
Live on: N/A
Match Officials
Referee:
JP Doyle (50th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Andrew Watson.

Teams

London Welsh

15. Tom Arscott, 14. Dan Caprice, 13. Sonny Parker, 12. Hudson Tonga'uiha, 11. Nick Scott, 10. Gordon Ross, 9. Tyson Keats,8. Adam Balding, 7. Ed Jackson, 6. Daniel Browne, 5. Kirill Kulemin, , 4. Jonathan Mills (c), 3. Paulica Ion, 2. Neil Briggs ,1. Franck Montanella

Replacements: 16. Greg Bateman, 17. Tom Bristow, 18. James Tideswell, 19. Matt Corker, 20. Alfie To'oala, 21. Jamie Stevenson, 22. Alex Davies, 23. Seb Jewell.

London Irish

15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 12. Shane Geraghty; 11. Anthony Watson; 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Max Lahiff; 2. Brian Blaney; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. George Skivington; 5. Bryn Evans; 6. Declan Danaher (Captain); 7.Matt Garvey; 8. Chris Hala'ufia

Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17.Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18.Halani Aulika; 19. Kieran Low; 20.Jebb Sinclair; 21. Jamie Gibson; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Jack Moates

 
 
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Aviva Premiership Rugby
Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
Pts
1
6
5
0
1
25
2
Saracens
6
5
0
1
22
3
Exeter Chiefs
6
4
0
2
20
4
Bath Rugby
6
4
0
2
20
             
5
Wasps
6
3
0
3
15
6
Gloucester Rugby
6
3
0
3
15
7
Harlequins
6
3
0
3
14
8
Leicester Tigers
6
4
0
2
14
9
London Irish
6
2
0
4
12
10
Sale Sharks
6
2
0
4
11
11
Newcastle Falcons
6
2
0
4
9
12
London Welsh
6
0
0
6
1
Last update :12/10/14 - Verified each monday

Note: Click on team names above for more info
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