London Irish welcome London Welsh to the Madejski Stadium on Friday 26 December for a Boxing Day Derby between the two local rivals.
Irish, after coming off second best in their trip to the Ricoh Arena last week, and will be hoping for a return to wining form. Welsh, just one place behind Irish in the Aviva Premiership, will be keen to record their first win of the season and will see this weekend’s game as a perfect opportunity to do so.
“It is a huge game for both teams,” said London Irish hooker David Paice ahead of this weekend’s game. “They will be really targeting this game for a win and we need to win this game and get some confidence back.
“It is a hugely important game for us,” he continued. “We haven’t had too good a run of results lately. Saying that we got a good win against Cardiff and for the first forty minutes against Wasps we performed well so this weekend we need to get the win and get some confidence back.
“We know that they will be targeting this game. They are a very good team and apart for the Saracens game they tend to not get broken down until the 60th or 70th minute.
“They are a lot better team than they are given credit for, you look at their Leicester and Edinburgh games and they were still in it at 60 minutes and those are top quality sides. We will have to work hard for the full 80, respect them for the team they are and have patience.”
Although Irish have had a tough run of results in recent weeks, there are still positives, which Paice says is what the squad are focussing on.
“We have been taking the positives from our recent games,” he said. “Like I said, against Wasps for the opening forty minutes it felt like we were the better team.
“Having said that we also need to look at areas where we were poor. These were mainly our penalty count and at the breakdown.
“So it is as much a case of looking at where we did well and keeping on that as it is looking at our shortcomings to improve them.
“It is a short week, from a Sunday game to a Friday game, but it is about reviewing the game and taking on board both the good and the bad.”
Despite a short turn around, Paice says the team are ready and looking forward to playing on Boxing Day.
“We are all used to a quick turn around, in that respect it is just another game. But we are all really looking forward to it, it is always very special to play on Boxing Day and hopefully there will be a great crowd that can spur us on to victory.”
Tickets are still available for the Boxing Day Game clash, and can be found online at www.london-irish.com or you can phone 0118 968 1016.