2 January 2021
2020 is a year we would all rather forget, for obvious reasons.
And whilst the cancellation of our fixture against Northampton Saints, scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday), is a further disappointment, there is still plenty to be optimistic about as we head into 2021.
Blair Cowan – part of the four-man Leadership Group at London Irish – is determined to make sure he and his Irish team-mates do all they can to raise the spirits of the Exile Nation faithful during these dark days.
Speaking recently, Cowan reflected on what life is like in the rugby bubble during these extraordinary times, commenting: “We're living in unprecedented times and I know how fortunate I am, and we are as a group, to be able to continue doing what we love to do.
“It's about self-reflecting on your situation. This sucks, it all really sucks, but we – as professional rugby players – have probably got the better slice of it because we're able to continue what we love doing.
“I'm very grateful – to Mick (Crossan), especially, for continuing to show his faith in supporting us through these times – and I’m very grateful to everyone at the club for the support they’ve given us all, as players. That speaks volumes about where we all want to head as a group – all pulling in the same direction in a crisis.
“Every time we step out on that pitch, we're representing the whole London Irish family, and of course at the moment, that means the thousands of fans watching on from home.
“We want to put on a show for them, offer them some sort of ray of light as the world continues to navigate its way through this storm.”
Whilst Blair and his team-mates have, sadly, been prevented from doing that on Sunday, owing to Public Health England guidelines, the Scotland international is looking to the future with a positive mindset – and can't wait to see the Exile Nation back in the stands in 2021.
Having featured twice at our new home in the capital so far – and won both games as he was quick to point out – Cowan wants to make the Brentford Community Stadium a fortress over the coming weeks and months, especially once fans are able to return.
“It's an incredible stadium,” he said, “it really is something special.
“Personally, I'm two from two here, so I want to continue that record for as long as possible.
“I just want to get fans in here – I missed the Sale game when we had 2,000 fans in there and it was so loud on the TV.
“It's a world class facility, in an amazing location, not too far from where we train – so we're incredibly fortunate.
“We already feel a connection with this place, even though the fans haven't been with us as we'd like – but when they do eventually return, this place will be rocking.
“I'm honoured to be a part of this exciting chapter in the club's history.”
Let’s hope the immediate next chapter of this story is the return of supporters to stadiums as soon as possible.
You’ve been missed and we can’t wait to have you back with us.