London Irish v Doncaster Knights: Build-up and early team news ahead of trip to Championship leaders

Doncaster Knights will need to become the first side to beat London Irish in the Championship at home if they are to come away with the spoils from the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 12:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 12:58 pm
Ollie Stedman

“We’ll be giving it a good crack that’s for sure and there is always a first time for everything,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“But we are under no illusions about how tough it is going to be. We’ve had a good look at them and they’ve got very few weaknesses.

“We’ll certainly have to be at our best for the full 80 minutes – particularly in defence because they come at teams in waves and waves of attack.

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“We gave them a good game at home and kept them pointless in the second half and could have run them even closer on the day.”

League leaders Irish, whose only previous league defeat came away to Jersey, suffered a surprise defeat at lowly Yorkshire Carnegie last time out.

“I don’t think many people saw that coming,” said the Welshman, who admitted the result could be a double-edged sword as far as Knights are concerned.

“They’ll be smarting from that defeat and they’ll be looking to bounce straight back to winning ways on Saturday.

“But if we can open up an early lead then they could be chasing the game. Having said that they’ve proved very good at chasing games this season.

“Certainly the first try could be very important. We’ve played seven games this year and when we’ve scored first we’ve won.”

Despite their victory over Bedford, Griffiths hinted that there could be changes for the trip to Reading.

He was playing his cards close to his chest earlier this week but said that strong-running back-rower Ollie Stedman was likely to return after injury.