The challenge facing London Welsh may not be getting any easier, but scrum-half Rob Lewis believes his side can still rely on the presence of Piri Weepu to provide a welcome boost.
Head coach Justin Burnell picked Lewis and Weepu together in a new-look half-back pairing last weekend, but the veteran former All Black could not prevent the Exiles falling to a heavy 78-7 defeat to Saracens.
Despite the result, Lewis insists he was impressed by Weepu’s reading of the game and believes his side are not far from allowing the likes of wingers Elliot Kear and Seb Stegmann to fulfil their attacking talent.
And while Lewis is not sure whether Weepu will be lining up outside him again, he is urging whatever half-back pairing takes the field to get the back line moving, starting with a visit to London Irish on Boxing Day.
“Obviously we were disappointed after the Saracens game, not just with the result but also the fashion in which we performed,” he said.
“It was tough but we had a good debrief and talked about where we went wrong and what areas of the game we need to work on.
“It’s always good when you look outside of you and see Piri Weepu there standing there – he’s a class act and a very physical player who has great organisational skills that give the side a real boost.
“He always tells the people around him exactly what he wants to do and what he wants you to do and as a scrum-half that helps you out a lot.
“I don’t know whether our partnership will continue over the next few games or not as that’s down to the coaches but Piri has got such a big influence, wherever he plays he’s a vital part of our team.
“It’s down to me or whoever the No.9 is and the pack to make sure we’re getting quick ball to our back line to do some damage because they are our weapons.”
The Exiles remain winless after ten rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby this season but Lewis insists the club are in good spirits ahead of a busy schedule of rugby.
And with Christmas not in danger of being cancelled for the Welsh player, the 27-year-old is looking forward to a return to a raucous Kassam Stadium in the New Year.
“We’re on a bad run but Christmas is definitely not cancelled for us – every game is tough in the Premiership and we can’t dwell on any one result for too long,” he added.
“The Kassam Stadium is a great place to play rugby and the crowds are getting bigger and louder every time we play so hopefully we can start putting in some good performances for them in the New Year.
“We need to just keep working hard during this busy schedule and try to enjoy our rugby over the festive period while looking to keep improving.”
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