25 March 2015
George Skivington believes Saturday's St Patrick's Party will introduce added spice to London Irish's Aviva Premiership Rugby crunch match with Newcastle Falcons.
Over 20,000 supporters are expected to descend upon the Madejski Stadium on 28 March to take part in the club's annual celebration.
With live music beginning at 11am in The Village and carrying on late into the night, London Irish supporters will be hoping a home victory can cap off a fantastic day of celebrations for the club.
And with Falcons lying just one position below the tenth-placed Exiles in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, Skivington admits his side are hoping to use the party atmosphere to their advantage.
"They're the team that's nearest us in the table so it's going to be an extremely competitive game and the occasion gives the fixture just that added bit of spice,” he said.
"There's been a two-week build up for this game which is unusual but it means we'll be fully prepared to take them on.
"We've done a little bit more homework than usual and we're certainly not going to underestimate the threat they pose.”
After experiencing the day as part of an away team for previous club Leicester Tigers, who beat Irish 41-32 in the 2012 fixture, Skivington is encouraging any Newcastle Falcons supporters in attendance to get involved in the party.
"I've been fortunate enough to experience this fixture as part of an away team as well as a member of the home side,” he explained.
"It's just a great party and a great day for everyone to be a part of. It's a special occasion for us players because it gets such a big turnout.
"I guess it depends on how the match goes as to whether I join in the post-match celebrations but the Guinness will certainly be flowing.
"You have to make the most of those opportunities because it's so rare in professional sport that players get to socialise with fans and just have fun.”
The London Irish St Patrick's Party takes place on Saturday 28 March at the Madejski Stadium. The day starts at 11am with fun for all the family, followed by London Irish v Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership. For tickets call 0118 968 1016 or visit www.London-irish.com.