London Welsh captain Carl Kirwan insists the weight of history inspires him to lead the club to their first Aviva Premiership Rugby victory of the season against London Irish this weekend.
Welsh lost their 15th straight league game on Saturday, going down 48-10 to Gloucester Rugby, but Kirwan is adamant a positive attitude remains at the club.
And the 23-year-old, playing his first Aviva Premiership Rugby season, is looking to use as much advice as he can garner from the club’s experienced heads to turn the campaign around.
“It has been hard work, there have been some backs-against-the-wall times but still really enjoyable,” said Kirwan.
“All the old heads have been great for me. Piri Weepu, Tom May, Dean Schofield and all of them for different things.
“If you go to do some passing you look to Tom May and Piri but if you are looking for contact work you go to the big man Dean Schofield and I will use their knowledge in the future.
“Those older heads are trying to drag the positivity out of us because you cannot run an environment if heads are down, at London Welsh we are not about that and training this week has been as intense as ever.
“The skill level is a lot higher in the Premiership and you have to make your decisions a lot faster, which has probably been an area that London Welsh have not quite been up there on.
“We need to play for the club and what the club is about. We are out there representing London Welsh no matter what we are doing.
“Rugby has always got personal pride in it but we have got to come together as a team and as the London Welsh badge.”
Welsh face their nearest Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals this weekend, an Irish side who have won twice on their travels this year.
And Kirwan admits it is a huge fixture, not least because they have a score to settle following a 24-9 defeat at the Madejski Stadium earlier in the season.
“It is definitely a game to target. We had what I see as an energetic performance last week and at times we were really good,” added Kirwan.
“Obviously at Irish on Boxing Day we feel like we should have come out with something and I think it would be disappointing this time around to go to the Kassam and not get anything out of the game.
“We are in a position now that if we do make a mistake we know where it has gone wrong and what has broken down. We have got to go there with a mentality of securing our ball and putting pressure on theirs.”
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