TOP BAR - Fixtures

Topsy Ojo keen to reward new and old London Irish fans

With London Irish fans arriving in New York in their droves, Exiles veteran Topsy Ojo admits he is determined to reward them for their support while encouraging a new legion of green in New York City.

The Exiles play host this Saturday in Aviva Premiership Rugby's first ever overseas fixture when they clash with league-leaders Saracens at the 25,000-seater Red Bull Arena.

Playing at the home of MLS side New York Red Bulls, the Exiles are hoping to harness an area rich in Irish heritage, and the spirit of St Patrick's Day, as they look to rectify last weekend's loss to Bath Rugby.

And Ojo – who helped show off the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy to passersby in Times Square yesterday – insists that whichever fans turn out on Saturday, whether they have been following the side for years or only a week, London Irish are going to put on a show.

“We have a great opportunity out here to touch a lot of people, but from what I’ve heard we have a lot supporters coming over as well,” he said.

“Our team have done a great job to make sure everyone in New Jersey knew we were coming, and hopefully come Saturday the stadium will be full of green.

“We are looking forward to engaging with a host of new fans; rugby is taking off in this country so if we can be at the forefront of that, it’s huge for the club and huge for the game.

“And to see our fans flying over in their droves is amazing. Our fans have been brilliant all year, and the fact that they are prepared to travel across continents to support the boys despite the tough times this year is testament to how strong they are.

“They mean everything to us, play a huge part in what we’re trying to do, and we know they are behind us 100 per cent.”

Meanwhile, with a mixture of down-time and intense training packed into their schedule this week, veteran prop Tom Court believes his side will come into the clash more refreshed than ever.

He said: “Weeks away like this are tricky. But I see this trip as a real positive as it gives the boys a big chance to stick together and discuss what we need to do from here on.

“The main thing is trying to get the perfect balance between getting all the boys to be switched on and focused on the task, but also giving everyone the chance to switch off and not be fried by the end of the week.

“The schedule we’ve had has been perfect this week. There’s been plenty of opportunities for down-time and for the boys to enjoy themselves, but we are so focused on the game tomorrow.

“The senior guys are making sure that filters through to some of the younger guys; for them all this is very exciting being away for a week, but we need to make sure they are focused on getting the job done first.

“Everyone will be able to enjoy themselves after the weekend if we do what we are here for.”

For tickets to this historic match go to londonirishusa.com

Latest News

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy