The Exiles open their Gallagher Premiership account this Sunday against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena, and London Irish Assistant Coach, Declan Danaher, spoke earlier this week of a ‘sharpening of focus’ amongst the group.
After the disappointment of a narrow defeat to Sale Sharks at the Madejski Stadium last Saturday, the squad have been in this week preparing for their return to top tier domestic rugby.
“There does seem to be a slightly different feel to the week, I suppose I would call it a sharpening of focus” said Danaher.
“The Premiership Rugby Cup has been good for us as we have built week on week and have wanted to get better. One of the positives to take out of the Cup campaign is that we have come away with a bonus point of some description in every game, so that shows we are in the fight.
“We have reviewed the Sale game and have seen improvements from the week before against Bristol, but we know it is a massive step up in terms of the minimum requirements that we need as a team this Sunday, to give ourselves an opportunity to get a result against Wasps.
The hosts come into this contest off the back of a 39-6 Premiership Cup victory over Worcester, with Marcus Watson crossing for a hat-trick. Danaher knows they have threats all over the park.
“Wasps are a good team; they beat Worcester last week and looked comfortable. They have Watson on the wing, and he has looked very exciting over the cup campaign.
“As a forward, I look at their back row of Willis, Carr, Shields; they are dangerous. I think between Willis and Shields they had five or six turnovers last week, so we know we need to get our breakdown right this weekend."
London Irish play Sale Sharks at Madejski Stadium next Saturday 26 October. To purchase tickets click here