TOP BAR - Fixtures

Skivington calls on Exiles to sign off in style

On paper there appears to be little to play for in the last two rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby for London Irish.

But captain George Skivington insists they owe it to their departing stars to put on a good show first against Gloucester Rugby this weekend and then on the season’s final day against Wasps.

The likes of Tomas O’Leary, Eamonn Sheridan and Kieran Low are all leaving the Madejski Stadium this summer as the Exiles continue to rebuild under their new owners.

Big names like Owen Franks and Sean Maitland are joining Irish next year as they look to improve on their bottom-half finish and return the club to former glories.

But for the final two rounds of games, Skivington insists he and his teammates must put on a show to build momentum into the new season.

“There’s no material gain for us for these last two games except for pride,” said Skivington.

“And we have got a lot of guys leaving the club at the end of the season, some of us have been together for quite a few years and we will not get the chance to take the field and play with them again.

“So we will be going out there and playing for each other, working hard regardless, both for the guys leaving and the guys who are staying.

“We are not where we want to be in the table but we cannot wallow in it.

“We are really focused on going out with a bang, creating that momentum for next season.”

Irish’s season will go down as a disappointment as they currently sit tenth in the table but could pressure Gloucester for ninth with victory at Kingsholm this weekend.

Six losing bonus points shows how close Irish have been to challenging the top half, but Skivington admits his team only have themselves to blame. 

“It’s been a really funny year, we have taken some big scalps but then we have also let some games slip, losing by five or six points,” he added. 

“It’s happened too many times to call it bad luck. There is no lack of fight, but we have not taken our shots when we’ve been in the red zone so we need to sharpen that up.

“It’s small margins, and we have come out on the wrong side of it too many times.

“We are disappointed with where we have ended up but we are moving into a new time and a new era at the club and we have guys that have proved themselves which is exciting.

“Guys like Scott Steele and Lewy (Alex Lewington), people had never heard of them before this season.

“Now they have established themselves as individuals that can play in this league.”

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