London Welsh hooker Rob Elloway insists Aviva Premiership Rugby has given him a new lease of life despite the club’s struggles at the foot of the table.
The 31-year-old signed from Cornish Pirates in February on loan until the end of the season as Welsh sought to fill the void which left by the injuries to Nathan Vella, Nathan Taylor and Matthew Dobson.
And after making two starts for the Exiles in his first month at the club Elloway admits his time at the Kassam Stadium has already exceeded his expectations.
“For me personally it’s gone even better than I’d hoped. I thought I’d get a chance to come off the bench and try and make a difference but I’ve started a few games which has been really good,” he revealed.
“I’m just chuffed to be getting a chance to have a crack at the Premiership and at 31 that’s something I thought I might not do so I feel really fortunate about that.
“I feel like I’ve done alright since I’ve got here – I’ve even shed a few pounds, which is great news.”
While Elloway may have lessened the Exiles’ injury concerns the Oxford side still remain bottom of the Premiership and without a win all season.
Last weekend London Irish were the visitors to the Kassam and secured a try bonus point within 30 minutes while sealing a 38-point victory.
But Elloway maintains the mood around the camp is still optimistic ahead of a trip to high-flying Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
“I’ve been here about a month now and results haven’t really gone our way,” he added.
“But I’ve just come in and worked hard. I’ve tried to get stuck in and really enjoyed my time with the boys.
“I would say in terms of physicality there is not a massive difference between the Championship and the Premiership.
“But for me the week-on-week intensity of the Premiership is different and it’s that combination of quickness and physicality that makes it harder.
“The boys here are giving it everything, they’re working hard but it’s an incredibly tough league.
“There is a massive jump up to the Premiership so giving it 100 per cent week in, week out is sometimes not enough but it’s not through a lack of effort.”
Each month Aviva is giving fans their say on who deserves to win the coveted Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award with the chance to win four tickets to an Aviva Premiership Rugby game of their choice! Become the 10th judge and vote by visiting www.aviva.co.uk/10thjudge open until midnight on Thursday 5 March