20 February 2021
Matt Rogerson is eager to see London Irish build on their fine home form – when top of the table Bristol Bears come to town this weekend.
Irish host the table-toppers at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday afternoon, for a live BT Sport clash, that will arguably provide the Exiles’ stiffest test of the campaign so far.
Yet despite the Bears lofty league position, Rogerson believes Irish have what it takes to build on their decent home record, which has seen Declan Kidney’s side win four of their five outings on their new patch this season.
“Bristol are a hugely impressive team in terms of their attacking play” said Rogerson.
“They get a lot of points on the board, scoring a lot of tries, so we know what we’re up against on Sunday.
“There will be big battles all across the park – the back row especially will be key.
“They’ve got good strength in depth – they’re solid up-front in both the scrum and the maul.
“But I’d back our lads to improve on what happened at Exeter last weekend – and really bounce back with a positive performance.
“We know we’ve got more in us than we showed at Sandy Park and we’ll be aiming to show that this weekend.”
Rogerson, who will captain the Exiles on Sunday, added: “We’ve got a decent record at our new stadium so far, and we’ll be looking to build on that record this weekend.
“The new surroundings really seem to be suiting us.
“We’re all really happy to be back in London – the stadium is a lot closer to where a lot of the guys live and of course we only train a short distance away at Hazelwood.
“It’s been a really nice settling in period for us – we've won four of our five fixtures there, with two bonus-point victories in our last two outings, so we’re confident every time we take to the pitch at the Brentford Community Stadium.”
The 27 year-old believes everything is in place now for Irish to continue making forward strides, with the move back to the capital seen as the final piece of the jigsaw.
“The way we’re set up now - with the training facility and the new stadium - we feel we’re in good shape” he said.
“It’s a great time to be playing for London Irish, with the building blocks that are now in place here - and it’s our job as players to really make the most of this opportunity and go from strength to strength.”