TOP BAR - Fixtures

Double the intensity for London Irish at Twickenham

London Irish have only just started on their journey with new head coach Tom Coventry – and one of their biggest litmus tests in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season is at the London Double Header.

There are few places any rugby fan would rather be than at a Twickenham in full roar and on Saturday 28 November, the usual experience at rugby HQ will quite literally double in intensity as people get two games for their ticket.

Saracens will be first to square up against Aviva Premiership Rugby new boys Worcester Warriors before London Irish look to record a landmark win in their evolution under the new man in charge against Wasps.

Coventry has not quite ripped up the script at the Madejski Stadium but there have been plenty of comings and goings over the summer. Indeed Rugby World Cup stars are among the new faces, with New Zealand prop Ben Franks and Scotland wing Sean Maitland both having graced big stages many times for their countries.

And though former Chiefs assistant coach Coventry is not placing too much stock on league position this season, he is adamant that his troops will have far more than a bit part to play at Twickenham next month.

"We’ve had guys coming in at different stages as we have obviously been waiting for some of the World Cup players to come back," said Coventry.

"But the guys that have been here from day one have been really good, really approachable, and helping to drive the expectation.

"They have added a lot of value to what we are trying to achieve so I have nothing but good things to say about the boys that have been recruited into our club.

"This season is more about what we can offer and gaining more respect in the competition that maybe London Irish have lacked in the past. We need to make sure that happens, whether at home, away or at Twickenham.

"But that comes in the performances; through working hard, training hard and preparing well.

"And those sorts of challenges, like making it into the top six, are things that you work on when you’ve got all the other things lined up and in place."

London Irish have not won at the London Double Header since 2010 but they came close to breaking that streak last season after shutting out Harlequins in the second half. Shane Geraghty slotted five penalties before the Exiles fell to a 20 – 15 defeat, but Coventry will not be letting his side dwell on the past.

"My expectation is that we grow the club, and we grow the respect that the rest of the competition has for London Irish," added Coventry.

"When you've been underperforming or feel like you haven't reached your full potential, you need to develop a real strong club bond with the guys having pride in their performance.

"We want to produce a style of rugby that we can be proud of. Not only to be proud of playing it, but that fans of the club who come along to watch enjoy watching so they can genuinely see that we are putting the effort in."

See two Aviva Premiership Rugby games at Twickenham from just £24 as Saracens face Worcester Warriors and London Irish play Wasps at the London Double Header on 28 November. Click here for tickets

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