TOP BAR - Fixtures

Alex Lewington already relishing thought of another journey stateside

Alex Lewington insists that the ‘brilliant’ New Jersey game must continue next year, despite his London Irish side losing a comeback thriller to Saracens 26-16 at the Red Bull Arena.

Winger Lewington scored the Exiles’ first try to lead 13-7 at half-time against the Aviva Premiership Rugby league-leaders, but they ultimately fell to an inspired Alex Goode performance as the England full-back notched up four penalties, a conversion and a try for 19 points. 

Almost 15,000 people turned out at the home of the New York Red Bulls to watch the first ever Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture on overseas soil. 

And the prolific winger admits that while he may have got his jet-lag recovery tactics wrong, he would love to head stateside again next year.

“It was a great spectacle and I would be very surprised if it didn’t continue, because as a player it was brilliant to be involved with,” the 24-year-old flyer said.

“The way we were hosted all week was amazing, first with the New York Jets and then after we arrived at the Red Bull Arena.

“It was good, it was interesting, I heard some chants that I would not normally hear – obviously being out on the wing I hear most of them.

“I heard a lot of encouraging “number 14” calls at me in American football style.”

Hard-hitting flanker Jacques Burger was happy to get over the line against a tough London Irish outfit and he was glowing about the quality of support they received during their dash across the pond. 

“It’s great to take the game somewhere else and represent rugby and show people what it is about, it is great to see a lot of people came and watched the game and I hope they had fun,” the former-Namibian captain said. 

“It is great to get the win. This league is incredibly tough and it doesn’t matter who you play, every weekend is incredibly tough.

“We travelled a bit and I think for both of us it was a great experience, but we knew the win was vital. We are at the top and they are fighting at the bottom, but both of us had something to play for.”

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final.

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