Aviva Premiership Club-by-Club: London Irish

London IrishTeam: London Irish
Coach: Toby Booth
Home ground: Madejski Stadium

Players In:
Darren Allinson (Cardiff Blues), Guy Armitage (Wellington College), Daniel Bowden (Canterbury Crusaders), Brian Blaney (Leinster), Sam Edgerley (Wellington College), Marland Yarde (Whitgift School)

Players Out:
Danie Coetzee (Retired), Charlie Gower (Released), Peter Hewat (Suntory), Andy Perry (Released), John Rudd (Retired), Peter Richards (Retired)

Strengths: On their day, the Exiles can play at devastating pace, with big strong runners hitting gaps and putting their side on the front foot. They’ve been able to surprise a few teams with such speed, and if they can minimise their off days on which they don’t seem to perform, they should challenge at the right end of the table.

Weaknesses: The off days were becoming slightly more frequent as the season progressed last year, and it’s this inexplicable propensity for them to lose their way that is likely to hinder their chances this term. Chief executive Andy Martin has cited a top four finish as the minimum requirement, but the squad is largely unchanged and they are no longer the surprise package in the league.

One to watch: The precocious Tom Homer made a big impact in a few matches towards the end of last year, and this season could become a fixture at full-back. He looks confident at the back and the schoolboy 100-metre sprinter has pace to burn.

Last season:
6th

Prediction:
We’re expecting another hard-fought but ultimately fruitless season with London Irish falling away towards the end of the season – 8th

4 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Club-by-Club: London Irish

  1. No bigger incentive for London Irish than reading this c—-. Same old same old. Your’re prediction was similar the year we reached the final. Considering London Irish had 7/8 of their main players injuried las year at the same time, we didn’t fair too badly. Thing is we are back fighting fit and there will be plenty of surprises trust me…..Get over yourselves please.

  2. There’s no ego in this, so it’s not a case of getting over ourselves. Irish are actually one of my favourite sides, so I actually hope they do better than 8th.

    Nevertheless, in our opinion, some of the other sides in the league will perform better this season. There hasn’t been much dispute over our prediction for the bottom four sides, but it’s very competitive between the top 8 sides, and someone has to finish 8th.

  3. One of the main issues for Irish last year was the lack of a Plan B – the likes of Tagicakibau and D.Armitage were injured or out of form for a lot of the season and teams had started to work out a game plan to stop Mapusua and Elvis in midfield. I think the signing of Dan Bowden (who can play as a playmaking 12) could be key. If the key players stay fit for longer this year, Irish will be up there.

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