David Paice believes London Irish must find stability if they are to fulfil their potential over the coming seasons.
Irish currently lie tenth in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, eight points behind Gloucester Rugby in ninth, following an up-and-down season.
The loss of director of rugby Brian Smith, who left the club for family reasons in January, and Tom Homer to Bath last week also hasn’t helped matters.
However, Paice believes that continuity at the club, combined with exciting players such as Sean Maitland and Andy Goode who are already signed up ahead of next season, will help bring the good times back to the Madejski Stadium.
“I definitely think stability will help us, moving forward,” admitted Paice. “Everyone agrees that stability at the club and trying to keep our best players is the way to be successful.
“For whatever reason we haven’t been able to keep the bulk of our young players in recent times.
“But going forward, we’ve got a new owner, a new board, new training facilities and environment, so we’re putting the best things in place.
“Hopefully that will allow us to attract and keep our best players.”
Paice is one of the longest-serving players at London Irish – having joined their academy in 2003.
The hooker has made almost 200 first-team appearances, playing in all bar one of their Aviva Premiership Rugby games this term.
And he believes that a courageous showing in last Friday’s 15-9 loss to Northampton Saints, in addition to the constant improvements throughout the season, mean the club is heading in the right direction.
“There are definitely positives to take from the Northampton game,” he added. “We’re very happy with the guys’ efforts.
“We’re happy with the intensity but Northampton are probably the top team in the league, so for us to take it to them bodes well for us for the rest of the season.
“We’ve always got to work on our discipline of course – we’re taking small steps but we’re making big improvements.”
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