TOP BAR - Fixtures

Fowlie eyes up greater role at London Irish

He may have other things on his mind but Tom Fowlie knows the LV= Cup is another opportunity to show the London Irish hierarchy he is ready for more responsibility.

Following his call-up to the England Under-20 squad, Fowlie is naturally casting his mind forwards to a showdown with Wales on February 7.

However, before that comes another trip across the River Severn as the Exiles visit the Scarlets, seeking to arrest their losing start to the LV= Cup.

Fowlie, who missed last summer’s Junior World Championship in New Zealand with an ankle injury, is simply enjoying a clean bill of health and some first-team rugby.

But after helping London Irish secure a home quarter-final in the European Rugby Challenge Cup with victory over Rovigo at the weekend, the 20-year-old is eager to keep proving himself – whether it is out on the wing or in the centres.

“My short-term goal is to be fighting for that spot in the Premiership,” said Fowlie. “I’m feeling good, feeling sharp at the moment. I just need to get a good run of games together. I’m just trying to improve every day.

“I played quite a bit on the wing last year but going forward I see myself as more of a centre. I would happily play on the wing – I would play anywhere just to play.

“I am actually being selected on the wing for England but long-term, that is what I’m looking to do.”

Fowlie was handed his preferred No.13 shirt on Saturday as the Exiles travelled to Italy and clinched an all-important bonus-point win.

The result ensured they topped Pool 1 ahead of Cardiff Blues, setting up a last-eight clash with Edinburgh in April – safe in the knowledge that victory will also see them line up at the Madejski Stadium in the semi-finals.

And Fowlie admits London Irish must not waste this opportunity to put up a stiff challenge for some silverware.

He added: “It was a tough win out there. In the first half they made it very difficult for us but we pulled through.

“Going out there we knew we had to get a bonus point to keep it within our hands. In the second half we knew we had to stick to what we are good at.

“This has been our goal from the start of the season. We have had a big European focus and with us not being able to qualify in the LV= Cup now, this is what we really want to put our foot down in.

“If we can get through that, we have got a home semi-final. The run-in doesn’t look too bad for us but we are not going to get carried away.”

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.
 

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