Mark Irish targets B&I Cup qualification

17th January 2014

Prop Mark Irish admits beating London Welsh for the third time this season represents a ‘formidable challenge’ for London Scottish this weekend.

The Exiles rivals square up in the final round of Pool Two British & Irish Cup matches on Saturday with London Scottish, London Welsh and Pontypridd all still in with a chance of reaching the last eight of the competition.

London Scottish know a win at Richmond Athletic Ground, 2pm kick-off, will secure the Club a place in the quarter-finals for the very first time.

But despite having already beaten the Dragons in the Greene King IPA Championship and B&I Cup this season Irish expects another close fought encounter, the result of which could go either way.

He said: “We have played them twice and had two good wins but these matches have been two of the toughest this season.

“The boys certainly carried some bumps and bruises after the games which tells its own story.

“It will be two big physical forward packs going at each other and with the squad they have got we are under no illusions as to how tough this game will be.

“Whoever is in the London Welsh starting XV, we know it will be a really formidable challenge.

“We will be under some serious pressure in the game and the boys will have to step defensively again and take our chances when they come.”

Scottish have won four of their five Cup matches so far this season, picking up a bonus point in defeat at Pontypridd last month.

It’s a fine return for the Athletic Ground outfit but Irish wants to finish the job on Saturday and secure a quarter-final place.

“We would love to qualify,” the former Bristol front-rower admitted.

“I think the results so far prove that we are not in this competition just to make up the numbers.

“We have been in one of the toughest groups alongside the Greene King IPA Championship leaders and the Welsh Premiership Champions.

“To get through to the knock-out stages would be a fine achievement.”

Just Clan (standing) tickets remain on sale for Saturday's highly anticipated clash with London Welsh, 2pm kick-off.

– Clan tickets cost £12 for members and £14 for non-members whilst under 16s can get in for free.

– Tickets can be purchased online here up until midnight on Friday night or at the gate on the day.

– Listen to backs coach Mike Friday’s audio preview here.

London Scottish squad to play London Welsh in the British & Irish Cup on Saturday, January 18 at Richmond Athletic Ground, 2pm kick-off.

15, James Love, 14, Peter Homan, 13, Oli Grove, 12, PJ Gidlow, 11, Miles Mantella, 10, Dan Newton, 9, Robbie Shaw, 1, Mark Irish, 2, Tom Dunn, 3, Tom Francis, 4, Alex Karonias, 5, Dave Lyons, 6, Ben Russell, 7, Matt Everard, 8, Mark Bright (c).

Replacements:16, Adam Kwasnicki, 17, Eric Fry, 18, Lewis Thiede, 19, Paul Spivey, 20, Jordi Pasqualin, 21, Lee Millar, 22, Jim Thompson.


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