Catt to lead Exiles
February 16, 2007
The three London Irish players that were in action with the England Saxons and Sevens teams last weekend have been named in a strong Exiles' 22 for tomorrow's Guinness Premiership home match with Bath.
Mike Catt, who captained the Saxons to a 30-5 win over Ireland A at Ravenhill a week ago, starts at inside centre and captains the team. Shane Geraghty, scorer of nine points for the Saxons in Belfast, is at fly half; and Nils Mordt who played for England Sevens in the latest round of the IRB World Sevens Series in Los Angeles last weekend, is named at outside centre.
The Exiles make four changes to the starting line-up of the team that played against Saracens in the club's last Guinness Premiership outing three weeks ago. Tonga Lea'aetoa comes in at loose head prop for Neal Hatley who is on the bench. Phil Murphy starts at No 8, Shane Geraghty takes over at fly half with Nils Mordt at outside centre.
"Going into tomorrow's game we are in a similar position to where we were at this time last season," said Brian Smith, London Irish Director of Rugby. "With nine league games left to play, our fortunes are in our hands. A top six finish is well within our capabilities.
"We are expecting another serious test tomorrow afternoon. There are many similarities between the way ourselves and Bath play the game. We both favour an attacking, flowing style played with ball in hand in so far as possible. The recent history of matches between the two clubs is littered with exciting contests and close finishes and this could be another," added Smith.
* Denotes international
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes