London Irish winger Marland Yarde has called on his teammates to turn the Madejski Stadium into a fortress this Aviva Premiership season, starting with the visit of Gloucester on Saturday.
The Exiles are still smarting from their 40-3 humbling at the hands of Saracens last weekend at Twickenham’s London Double Header.
But they will take some solace from the fact that their last league game at the Madejski saw them easily take down Sunday’s opponents Gloucester 52-18 in the teams’ final match of last season.
Indeed the last eleven Premiership fixtures between the two clubs have all been won by the home side providing yet more cause for optimism for Yarde and co.
“Gloucester is going to be another tough game,” said the 20-year-old speedster.
“They have a lot of young and exciting players as well as some experienced ones to guide them through.
“They also lost their first game so they will be as pumped as us on Saturday but we want to make the Madejski a fortress and that starts this weekend.
“I believe there has been a lot of season-ticket sales this season so that can only help the atmosphere and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Gloucester meanwhile are on a losing run of seven games in the Aviva Premiership that stretches back to last season.
But with new boss Nigel Davies among a number of new faces including former Leicester Tigers centre Billy Twelvetrees who arrived at the club in the summer, it was always going to take time to gel.
But Twelvetrees is confident that his side have what it takes to put last weekend’s narrow defeat to Northampton behind them and begin their march up the table at a ground where they have not won since 2006.
“We are all desperate to get that first win under our belts,” he said.
“We could have done better against Northampton, we had chances to win the game with a little bit more patience and if we had managed to retain possession bit better.
“But we are already excited about this weekend and taking on Irish, we want to put a marker down and the sooner we can do that the better.”
Referee: Greg Garner (37th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Dix.