London Irish coach George Skivington is excited by the draw for this year’s European Rugby Challenge Cup which sees Irish pitted against Scarlets, Toulon and Bayonne.

The former Exiles captain is well aware of the task the club face against very formidable opponents.

“It’s a tough draw, it would be a tough draw if it was a Champions Cup pool. It shows the quality of our group.

“There are some good places to go and some great stadiums to play at, but ultimately they are very tough teams to take on and we will have to be on our mettle for those games.”

European adventures are always enjoyable, but can be very intimidating for the players taking to the field as Skivington is well aware of.

“The atmosphere whenever you head to France or across to Wales is always very good but that does make them very difficult grounds to visit.

“The loud crowds are there to intimidate you, but they are great experiences. You have to thrive on that and enjoy it. Hopefully we will be able to pull our experience together and put a plan in place for how we take that on.”

Scarlets have added Glenn Delaney and Richard Whiffin to their coaching team for this coming season, two men that Skivington knows very well from their time coaching the Exiles.

“It will add a bit of spice and a bit of fun to it. Obviously, Glenn and Whiff are just moving to Scarlets now so I think they will be quite excited by drawing London Irish and I’m sure we will have a bit of banter after the game.”

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