London Irish hooker David Paice will pull on the famous green jersey for the 250th time when London Welsh visit the Madejski Stadium in the Greene King IPA Championship this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Paice, 32, who as a teenager swapped Australia for England to pursue a career in rugby, admits reaching the milestone will be a proud moment for him and his family.
“London Irish means a lot to me and it’s a great club, full of great people so it will be a very special day for me,” said the Exiles icon.
“I have some unbelievable memories down the years, from playing for England to playing in a Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulouse at Twickenham,” he added.
The one club man has played under a number of high profile coaches along the way such as Gary Gold, Toby Booth and Brian Smith. Now into his 14th campaign with Irish, Paice believes the current management team is well equipped to bring success to the club.
“The club has a great future ahead of it despite dropping into the Championship, and I’m excited to be a part of what is building here,” said Paice.
“Nick Kennedy was a great appointment as Director of Rugby and he has good people around him to help get this club get back to the Premiership. There is a culture building within the club and we are really gelling as a squad which is evident on the pitch with the positive start we’ve made to the season,” he added.
The Exiles have recorded victories in all five of their games in the Championship including four consecutive bonus-point wins, a sequence that has cemented their position at the top of the table. Paice is determined to mark his personal milestone with victory over London Welsh and more importantly maintain his side’s 100% return.
He said: “London Welsh will be a really difficult test for us and we will have to be fully prepared for what they will throw at us – they had a great result against Jersey last weekend so their tails will be up.
“If we go into the game with the right mind-set and preparation, then we will do well.”
Irish stretched their winning run to five games on Friday with a 29-7 bonus-point win at Nottingham Rugby. The result saw the Exiles make it back-to-back away wins, a feat that will boost morale according to Paice.
“It’s always good to win away from home, particularly against difficult sides such as Bedford and Nottingham who will no doubt be challenging for a place in the top four come the end of the season,” said Paice.
“We’ve put ourselves in a decent position at the top of the table, but we must continue in the same fashion as there are some good teams in this league and it will be extremely competitive week in, week out,” he added.
You can read the full feature interview with David in this Saturday’s edition of the Exile prices at £3.
Tickets are available for the London Welsh home game this Saturday 8th October priced at £20 for adults with discounts available for those under 25. Kids go for £3 in the unreserved areas.
Call 0118 968 1016 or click here to buy online.
Hospitality packages are still available for this fixture, starting at just £36 +vat per person. For more information or to buy a package please email [email protected] or call 01932 750 113.
Members are also able to upgrade to Hospitality from as little as £25 +VAT.