The Greene King IPA Championship launch took place at Twickenham Stadium last week, with London Irish second-row Franco van der Merwe and director of rugby Declan Kidney in attendance.

The Exiles get their campaign underway at Ealing this Saturday evening, which you can see live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off 7.15pm), and former Springbok international van der Merwe is relishing his side’s season opener in front of the TV cameras.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the season and there’s been a great spirit in the camp throughout pre-season,” said van der Merwe.

Excited - van der Merwe

“The media has been part of rugby for quite a while now and it’s good to experience on different levels.

“Even in the Championship the coverage is really good and it’s a privilege to be part of this competition.”

Van der Merwe along with representatives from all 11 other Championship clubs had their photos taken as well as speaking to Sky Sports, who continue their strong commitment to covering the competition again this season.

“From a player point of view, it’s nice to have coverage and to get to play on TV,” said van van der Merwe.

“It’s just nice to let other people see your talents out there and sometimes it raises the players ability.”

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