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Preview: London Irish v London Wasps

Preview: London Irish v London Wasps

One-club man Topsy Ojo extended his London Irish contract on Wednesday and he wants to mark the occasion with a long overdue win when London Wasps visit on Saturday.

The Exiles have slipped to five straight defeats in all competitions and sit 11th in the Aviva Premiership, with only wins against Harlequins and rock-bottom Worcester Warriors to their name.

Brian Smith’s side have particularly struggled at home, with just two wins from their last five Aviva Premiership encounters at the Madejski Stadium.

However, an encouraging display at Welford Road last weekend, as the Exiles lost 20-11 to Leicester Tigers, may have been a step in the right direction.

And Ojo believes Wasps’ visit offers a perfect opportunity to halt the slide and send Irish back towards the top half.

“Having been here for such a long time I am more determined than ever to push London Irish back up the table,” he said.

“I think the performances are there but it is the four points that matters and we haven’t been able to turn these into victories just yet.

“The game against Leicester was another example of that and we need to start turning this around and hopefully that starts with Wasps this weekend.

“It is about finishing off moves and turning pressure into points and I know that with the quality we have we are not far off this at all.”

Wasps themselves have hit a sticky patch of form, following wins against Leicester and Gloucester Rugby with three consecutive defeats in all competitions.

The victory at Kingsholm ended a run of seven straight away defeats, but Wasps have not won an Aviva Premiership match in Reading since March 2008.

Nevertheless, director of rugby Dai Young believes his side has no option but to impress after a poor display against Bath Rugby last time out.

“I don’t believe for a minute that these players won’t give everything they have,” said Young.

“I know that we will respond to this with energy, commitment and enthusiasm but we also have to respond with higher skill levels, higher accuracy and higher all round quality.”

Referee: Dean Richards (60th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Andrew Pearce. TMO: Rowan Kitt.

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