London Irish's young 7s stars are hungry for more successBy Alan Manicom
August 08, 2012
Jamie Gibson has warned that London Irish are hungry for more success after winning the Premiership's first silverware of the season.
Gibson was in the youthful 12-man squad that produced a stunning second-half fightback to beat Gloucester 31-28 in the final of the JP Morgan 7s last Friday.
And the 21-year-old Exiles flanker insists the club are desperate to lay down a marker when their Aviva Premiership campaign gets underway against Saracens on September 1.
He said: “We are a much younger squad than we have been in the past.
"A few good back-row players have come in and some young players like Gerard Ellis, who’s done really well at hooker.
“There’s a lot of competition. But in my first season there were about 15 of us and nobody gave me a hope.
"There’s always a few injuries, though, and people get their fair share of games.
"It’s good to have competition and a good squad behind you.”
The first of Irish’s three pre-season matches takes place on Friday when Nottingham visit Sunbury (7pm kick-off).
The game will be of particular significance to Glenn Delaney, who stepped down after seven years as the Championship club’s director of rugby to take over as London Irish’s new forwards coach.
Delaney said: “This was a game that Brian Smith (London Irish’s director of rugby) and I arranged before I moved to the club.
“Championship clubs generally have good forwards and it will be a very good test to see where we are.”
Exiles are at Newport Gwent Dragons and Munster the following two Friday nights before taking part in the London Double Header at Twickenham.
Gibson said: “Sarries did not have quite as successful a season as they would have wanted so I imagine they will be up for it.
"If we can put a marker down it will be very pleasing.”