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Preview: London Irish v Harlequins

Preview: London Irish v Harlequins

Winger Ugo Monye celebrated a return to the England fold this week but for the time being his sole focus is getting Harlequins back to winning ways in the Aviva Premiership in front of the ESPN cameras against London Irish on Sunday.

Monye was called up by Stuart Lancaster in place of the injured Ben Foden for England’s autumn internationals following an impressive start to the season that has seen him rack up four tries for Quins.

But despite two Heineken Cup victories over Biarritz and Connacht, Quins’ recent league form has been disappointing following defeats to Saracens and Exeter.

And Monye is desperate to put things right when his side travel to London Irish on Sunday.

“We are excited,” he said. “The last two weeks have given us a lot of confidence. Nine points from our first two Heineken Cup games has given us a boost.

“We are a confident team but we’ve had stark reminders against Saracens and Exeter that if we aren’t on top of our game we can get beaten.

“We are certainly focused on what will be a tough game. London Irish have averaged about 40 points a game in their last three games.

“The Premiership games probably finished on a bit of a sour note against Exeter but it was good to get back into the swing of things in Europe and hopefully we can put a few things right in the Premiership as well now.”

London Irish have won four of their last five games in all competitions, and have been victorious in their last three home games at the Madejski Stadium.

The Exiles beat table-topping Northampton in round six and gained their first try bonus point of the season in the process and it is that result that winger Topsy Ojo believes has really kickstarted his side.

“There is an added incentive because there is a lot riding on this game,” he said.

“It is a local derby, we are still near the bottom and we want to start climbing the table heading into this tricky winter period.

“It is going to be a great game and we want to continue the form we have showed in Europe and what we produced against Northampton in the Premiership before.

“We have lots to play for and we want to be in a good position and equally Quins won’t want to lose three on the bounce.

“It is going to be a massive challenge. They are champions for a reason and they will have their tails up off the back of two victories in the Heineken Cup.

“We are confident in ourselves and we are at home with will be a huge factor. The fans will play a huge part.”

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (54th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege, Roy Maybank. TMO: Graham Hughes.
(Madejski Stadium, 2.15pm) Live on ESPN HD

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