Fixtures - Top Bar

Steele revelling in starting role at London Irish

Having conquered the initial shock of becoming a regular starter in Aviva Premiership Rugby for the first time, Scott Steele is determined to remain the first choice scrum-half at London Irish.

The 21-year-old joined the Exiles over the summer after three seasons at Leicester Tigers, having made only a solitary league appearance off the bench during the 2011-12 campaign.

While Steele was driven to move on from Welford Road by the promise of more game time, he admits that he was expecting to play second fiddle to experienced Ireland international Tomas O’Leary at first.

Yet after impressing director of rugby Brian Smith in pre-season, Steele was handed the No.9 jersey for the curtain-raiser against Harlequins at Twickenham and has started in nine out of 11 rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby so far.

And with the former Scotland Under-20 international rapidly learning how to adapt his game to the demands of the league, Steele is hoping to inspire his side to an improved second half to their campaign.

“It has been great coming down here and getting a lot more game time – although probably more than I expected when I made the move,” he said.

“The Leicester players and coaching staff were brilliant to me but the opportunity to play more regularly was something I couldn’t turn down – I’ve taken that chance and now I’m looking to play as much as I can.

“It was obviously a shock at first – I played a few big games in pre-season but nothing can prepare you for the Premiership.

“But now I’m playing more and more, I find the pace less frantic and I’ve learned a lot about how to slow things down in this early part of the season and hopefully I’ll keep improving.

“It’s just about doing my basics really well – the game moves so much quicker and you’re under a lot of pressure so if you can do the simple things really well, that helps.

“Of course it’s always nice to try and create something for the team as well but for now I’m happy to nail down the basics and put in a good performance every week.”

Steele’s emergence has been a bright spark in a mixed season for London Irish, with the scrum-half helping his side claim an historic victory over his former club in round four before a run of six consecutive league defeats.

Yet after the Exiles stopped the rot with a win against London Welsh on Boxing Day, Steele is confident his side can draw on that triumph and their European form to build momentum – starting with a visit to Saracens on Saturday.

“It was a relief to get that first win at home this season against Welsh but we wanted to pick up a bonus point as well,” he added.

“However, to get three tries in those conditions was really good for us and gives us confidence to go forward after a convincing win.

“There were obviously a couple of games towards the start of the season that looking back on they were very close and we should have got the win.

“A win against Northampton Saints or Saracens would’ve been massive for us but then we had a few tough games and had to start in Europe with a few injuries so it stopped our momentum.

“But we’re top of our group in Europe and starting to turn things around in the Premiership so while we’re not looking too far in the future, things are looking up.”

Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer.

Latest News

RFU Disciplinary: Aaron Morris

Aaron Morris of Harlequins RFC will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel charged with tackling the jumper in the air,…

Vereniki Goneva, Brad Barritt and Sinoti Sinoti top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Brad Barritt topped the OPTA tackling rankings in Round 16 after a rugged performance as Saracens ended their two-game losing…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Gavin Henson showed how costly his injury absence might have been for Bristol Rugby this season as he starred in…

Newcastle Falcons sign Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows

Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows has become Newcastle Falcons’ latest signing as the club continues its recruitment for next season.…

Dean Richards

Saints sign Springbok scrum-half

Northampton Saints has today announced the signing of Cobus Reinach ahead of the 2017/18 season. The 27-year-old scrum-half joins the…

Cobus Reinach

Wasps sign Fijian international Gaby Lovobalavu

Wasps are delighted to announce that Fijian international centre Gabiriele (Gaby) Lovobalavu will join the club ahead of the 2017/18…

Gabiriele-Lovobalavu

Exeter Charity Celebrates hitting £1m milestone

A charity set up just six years ago to help promote the local community and the vision of people who…

Chiefs Foundation

Exeter backs agree new deals

Rob Baxter’s forward planning for next season and beyond is continuing with the news that three more of his Exeter…

Olly Woodburn

Match Reaction: Bristol Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 11

A delighted Gavin Henson admitted he felt relieved to turn in a match-winning performance for Bristol Rugby against West Country…

Match Reaction: Wasps 35 Gloucester Rugby 22

Dai Young believes Wasps’ Aviva Premiership Rugby win against Gloucester Rugby can spark a fresh wave of momentum after they…

Match Report: Wasps 35 Gloucester Rugby 22

Wasps utility back Jimmy Gopperth claimed 25 points including a hat-trick as his team restored a six-point advantage at the…

Match Report: Bristol Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 11

Gavin Henson kicked 12 points against former club Bath Rugby on his first Aviva Premiership Rugby start since October as…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 36 Newcastle Falcons 14

They may have gone above defending champions Saracens and into second place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter…