Ahead of London Irish’s pre-season fixture against Munster at Irish Independent Park, we caught up with Tom Fowlie ahead of the squad’s departure for Cork.
The Academy and AASE graduate is excited to be readying himself to play, after a long pre-season programme.
“Pre-season has been really good, it’s been much longer this year, about three months in total,” said the Exiles outside back.
“The first six weeks were focused on fitness and getting our physical condition right, and then we’ve started to bring in more rugby over the last six weeks. That is where the likes of Brad has come in with his defensive coaching. It’s taken a bit of time to get used to what he wants as it has been different to what's been here the last few years, but it has been really good and puts us in a really good place at this moment.
“Over the last three weeks we’ve made some really good strides, defensively and in our general rugby play. It’s been long, but it’s been really good to get back into it and we are looking forward to playing some games!”
The first match of the season kicks off tomorrow evening with a trip to Cork to take on Pro 14 side Munster where the two sides will contest the Jack Wakefield Memorial Trophy.
“The boys are itching to play, after three months pre-season we all want to give it a go. I don’t think there will be any half-hearted efforts out there, it’ll be pretty full on.
“We know what sort of team they are like and we know how tough they are going to be, especially at the break down, that’s a very physical part of the game so we are going to have to be absolutely on it. We are all looking forward to it.”
The match on Friday evening will act as perfect preparation for the Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures which begin the following weekend when the Exiles travel to Kingsholm to face Gloucester.
“The games will be very competitive, it’s a really good block of five games (including Munster) to see where we are at, improve things, put things into work and then rip into the Gallagher Premiership.”
To be back at the top table of English rugby was the goal last season and it is the challenge that excites the squad Fowlie explains.
“Obviously it’s great to be back, it’s where we want to be, it’s the main stage. Week-in, week-out its going to be very tough but that’s what we want, that’s why we play the game, to test ourselves at the highest level.”
Season tickets for the 2019/20 campaign are available by clicking here.