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Kirwan hoping London Welsh can use Europe as a springboard

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As London Welsh’s quest for that elusive first victory continues, flanker Carl Kirwan hopes that a strong display in Europe can launch their Aviva Premiership Rugby survival bid in earnest.

Welsh have picked up just a solitary bonus point this year and their latest defeat was a 43-14 reverse at home to Northampton Saints last Sunday.

They will resume league action with a daunting trip to Saracens in a fortnight’s time but first face a double header against Pro12 side Edinburgh in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Kirwan insists the Exiles have shown development over the past few weeks and is keen to turn that into a win against Edinburgh.

“We’re hoping to pick up our first victory this weekend – if we can go to a place like Edinburgh and turn them over that would be fantastic,” he said.

“It will be hard but I think it’s doable – they’re a big physical side with good players but I think we can play the way we want to play and get a result.

“Hopefully we can pick up that first win and build up some momentum over the next two weeks to take back into the Premiership against Saracens.

“Premiership has to be the main focus for us – we’ve got to fight to stay up which I think is still very possible for us.

“Improvements are coming but we just need this first win to get some points on the board and start climbing up the table.”

Kirwan, who won London Welsh Supporters Club Player of the Year last season, made his first appearance of this campaign in the Northampton clash last weekend.

The 23-year-old battled injury in the early months of the season but, now fighting fit once again, he is keen to build on his display against the Saints.

“I was extremely pleased to get the nod and have my first game – it was big honour for me to pull on a London Welsh shirt in the Premiership and it was fantastic,” he added.

“A few years ago I thought I might have missed my chance to play in the top flight but then I moved to London Welsh in the Championship and had a good year.

“Unfortunately I was struck by injury in pre-season and it was frustrating to be sat on the sidelines not playing where I want to play after a big season last year. It’s good to be back playing again.”

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