Matt Williams is relishing the opportunity to take to the field on Saturday against Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

After missing the 2020/21 season due to a knee injury, the centre is making sure that he is ready and raring to go whenever called upon for the Exiles’ match day squad.

Williams made his impact from the replacements for the final 30 minutes of last weekend’s draw against Saracens, a crucial segment of the match.

“It was great to be out there and experience a game like that, from a position that I’m sure a lot of people thought we had no chance to get anything,” he said.

“The players on the pitch certainly believed we could. You don’t want to play games in situations like that, trust me it’s a hard thing to do! But the positive is that, like Declan Kidney said after the match, that mentality isn’t something you can coach, that’s something that comes from within.

“We know we have to start putting in 80-minute performances and we know that we can beat anyone in this league.”

Saturday sees the Exiles travel to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens to take on Northampton Saints and Williams went on to explain that there are always battles for the match day 23 positions, no matter what competition is in front of the team.

“We have a very competitive squad at Irish. At every training session you see someone else putting their hand up for selection.

“This competition gives us a great opportunity for some more players to show what they can do. Every time you pull on the London Irish shirt, you are trying to give your best. The Premiership Rugby Cup will certainly be no different.

“We are going into this competition without any fear, just trying to show what we can do.”

The rugby season is a long one with three different competitions to manage before a summer break, thus providing plenty of opportunities for the whole squad to get their chance on game day.

“It’s a long season. No player is going to play every game throughout the season. Every player at the Club has the same mentality; stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.

“Everyone will be needed at some point over the campaign, so it’s important to get working hard and making sure that when you are called upon, you are ready to hit the ground running and take your opportunities.”

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