Fixtures - Top Bar

West up for the challenge with London Welsh

Life is tough at London Welsh but after making his Aviva Premiership Rugby breakthrough in the last fortnight, Ben West believes cutting his teeth in this environment can serve him well.

The hunt for a maiden victory this season has been the ongoing narrative for the newly-promoted Exiles, with head coach Justin Burnell chopping and changing in search of a winning formula.

That policy has recently seen 22-year-old lock West come to the fore, making his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut against Harlequins before playing the full 80 minutes last weekend at Kingston Park.

And after waiting patiently for his chance in the top flight, the youngster knows he must work hard to stay in favour at the Kassam Stadium.

“I waited a while,” he said. “The guys in my position are quite experienced anyway so I have been trying to learn as much as possible along the way. Now I am enjoying being in the mix.

“I suppose I have been quite lucky with the team we had last year and the way we got promoted through the league. I hadn’t really thought too much about getting game time in the Premiership.

“With us not getting the wins, stuff is liable to change every week so there is always the opportunity for you to come in and get a chance.

“I’m just trying to learn, really. I know everyone asks ‘is the atmosphere around the club down?’ but we are just all working hard together to get the first win.”

After back-to-back narrow reversals at the hands of London Irish and Harlequins, the Exiles had appeared to turn a corner – but a 38-7 defeat to Newcastle Falcons on Sunday hit them hard.

And West is looking forward to this weekend’s European Rugby Challenge Cup excursion to Bordeaux-Begles, where Burnell’s men have the freedom of playing without pressure.

“It was frustrating for us,” said West after the Newcastle defeat. “We were relatively pleased with Harlequins – we felt like we had taken a step in the right direction.

“It is a bit of a cycle – we have been getting better and better and then we just let it slip. It knocks the confidence a bit.

“I think our defence didn’t really function as we would have liked it to. Against Harlequins we defended for long chunks and did that quite well but against Falcons there were two easy tries, which really knocked us.

“If you look at the brand of rugby they (Bordeaux-Begles) play and the players they have got, they are a top opponent. I think the emphasis this week has been on having a go and trying stuff.

“We have got our own idea of how to play and the coaches have said that if you try something a bit different you are not going to get punished for it.”

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

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins