Homer lines up Golden Boot as London Irish tackle GloucesterBy Alan Manicom
May 04, 2012
Tom Homer will be hoping to kick London Irish to glory in their final game of the season tomorrow and take a massive step towards clinching the Aviva Premiership’s Golden Boot.
The 22-year-old full-back is the top points scorer in the competition this season. His 256-point haul puts him 25 clear of closest rival Nick Macleod of Sale Sharks, while third highest scorer Jimmy Gopperth, winner for the last two years, is 39 off the pace.
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith believes Homer will soon be gaining international recognition.
He said: “Tommy is very level headed. The success he has had has not gone to his head. He is a good professional and I am pushing his barrow with England. I am saying they should seriously be looking at him. He is a once-in-a-generation points scorer at this club.
“His father is in the military and has had a massive influence on him as a person. Tommy has his feet on the ground and I would be surprised if he is not involved with England in the summer.”
Smith added: “Tommy would take a win over getting the Golden Boot, but it’s good acknowledgement to pick up these awards.”
Gloucester have lost their last five Premiership matches, their worst run of form for 11 years.
And Smith said: “We don’t want to give them a sniff. Any opportunities we create we want to finish. We will try to honour and respect the warriors leaving the club.
"Guys like Bob Casey, Kieran Roche (both retiring) and Paul Hodgson (joining Worcester) deserve to be part of the spectacle, but we’ve picked a team to win. Sentiment comes second.
"We don’t want a big farewell to these players with our supporters crying in their beer because we have lost.”
Hodgson and Roche are named among the replacements.
England international, Delon Armitage will also play his last match in a London Irish shirt before departing for Toulon. He will play on the wing after scoring three tries in his last two matches.
Nick Kennedy is unavailable for selection due to injury.
London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “Tomorrow gives us the opportunity to continue the momentum we gained from the win over Worcester to take into our pre-season. It will also mark the end of an era to players who have been great servants to our club. I am sure the supporters will turn up in their numbers to say goodbye. “
Alan Manicom will bring real-time updates and opinions on the game – and he wants you to get involved too. Visit getreading from 1.50pm tomorrow and you can interact with Alan and other fans by posting your own views.
London Irish team to face Gloucester Rugby:
15. Tom Homer; 14. Delon Armitage; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Joe Ansbro; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Steve Shingler; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Max Lahiff; 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Bryn Evans; 5. Bob Casey (Captain); 6. Jamie Gibson; 7. David Sisi; 8. Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16. James Buckland; 17. Paulica Ion; 18. Faan Rautenbach; 19. Matt Garvey; 20. Kieran Roche; 21. Marland Yarde; 22. Adrian Jarvis; 23. Paul Hodgson