Sebastian De Chaves insists his side must remain focussed on one game at a time as London Irish’s preparations continue for this Sunday’s Greene King IPA Championship Play-off Semi-final first leg clash at Doncaster Knights (kick-off 3pm).

The Exiles finished the regular season in top spot, 17 points clear of second place Yorkshire Carnegie, who take on Ealing Trailfinders in the other semi-final.

Speaking at the club’s media session following a high octane training session under the watchful eye of Technical Director Brendan Venter and Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy, De Chaves said: “We’ve been speaking about the play-offs all season and how we need to be peaking at the right time.

“It’s great to finally get to this point in the season and to manage this pressure situation. We all need to focus on our own individual roles, and if we do this effectively, then we will do well.

“The boys realise that it’s now crunch time and there has certainly been an edge in training already this week.”

Eying this weekend’s showdown in South Yorkshire, the South African second row is well aware of the threats posed by Clive Griffiths’ Knights outfit.

“It will be an extremely tough game up there and having played against them two times already, we know the challenge that lies in wait.

“Both sides have had two weeks to prepare for the game and I’m sure that they will have changed a few things, however we must concentrate on what we can do and not the opposition,” said De Chaves.

Making the switch to Irish from Leicester Tigers last summer, De Chaves has hit the ground running with three tries this campaign.

“The forwards have been working extremely hard all season on the scrum, lineout and maul, which have all come to the fore of late,” he added.

“We’re at that stage of the season where we’re comfortable with what we’re doing and there is a confidence amongst the forwards to go from strength to strength.”

Be the 16th man cheering the players on in the next step back to the Premiership. Tickets for the home Play-off Semi-final against Doncaster Knights on Saturday 6 May at the Madejski Stadium are on sale from or by calling 0118 968 1016 #StrongerTogether. 

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