London Irish determined to prove their mettleBy Alan Manicom
January 08, 2013
George Skivington insists that London Irish will relish proving the critics wrong by climbing away from the bottom of the Aviva Premiership table.
TV pundits questioned whether Exiles have the mettle to avoid being relegated before Brian Smith's men pulled off a shock 18-12 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm last Saturday.
But Skivington has no issues with the views of Sky TV's Stuart Barnes, saying: "It's happy days. "People can write us off and say what they want.
"He is probably right to say what he has looking at our performances.
"There is no getting away from the fact that we have folded in some games.
"I don't blame him for viewing it that way. But it is not how it is.
"Personally I use that as ammunition.
"I am not one to put my head down."
Irish became the first side to win at Gloucester since the opening day of the season.
It ended a seven-match losing run and Exiles 6ft 6in lock added: "The more losses you get, the more it sticks in your mind.
"I have been pretty miserable the last few months. My wife will tell you that.
"But we are confident we will get it together.
"It is just hard work.
"Winning at Gloucester was massive, but we have to back it up against Saracens in our next Premiership game (on February 9).
"We have to stay focused for 80 minutes.
"We probably realised after our first few games that it would take us a bit longer than we first thought.
"We have a lot of young guys.
"I just turned 30 a few weeks ago and they think I am 50," he joked. "They think I am an old, old man.
"They are asking me about the war."
Skivington could be one of several senior players rested for Thursday's trip to Mont de Marsan in the Amlin Cup.
Irish need Gloucester to slip up in both their final two matches to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Skivington said: "It is up to Brian whether he wants to pick a full-strength side and try to get a win or whether he lets some younger guys have a go and let the old fellas rest up.
"That is a coach's decision. Personally I am not bothered either way."