Wokingham Today

Exiles prepare to party


LONDON IRISH return to action this weekend with their biggest game of the season.

The St Patrick’s Party attracted a crowd of 11,671 last season, more than four times the average home attendance, with many exiled supporters from Ireland using this as the designated match to meet up and support the team at Madejski Stadium.

A full day of activities have been organised for the clash with Gloucester (3pm) with the Exiles needing a win to keep their slim Aviva Premiershi­p survival hopes alive.

As well as a supporter village including fairground rides, food and live music, there is added excitement with this being the first match under the new stewardshi­p of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss.

“We’ve had a good training week despite the very cold conditions and we’re all looking forward to the challenge of going up against a strong Gloucester side,” said captain Franco van der Merwe.

“They are playing an attractive brand of rugby under Johan Ackermann, so we’re expecting a very tough game and we’ll have to be at our very best from the word go.

“Like us, they have a lot to play for having got themselves into the top six with some important games coming up.”

He added: “The passion shown by the team in our last outing at Wasps was incredible and I’m honoured to be captaining this team in the Aviva Premiershi­p, especially London Irish which has such a rich history.”

Elsewhere, REDINGENSI­ANS RAMS also return to action after a week off as they host Taunton Titans at Old Bath Road in National League 2 South (2.30pm).

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