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Aviva Premiership
London Welsh target the big stage
ESPN Staff
December 30, 2012
Wasps' Joe Launchbury tackles London Welsh's Ed Jackson, London Welsh v London Wasps, Aviva Premiership, Kassam Stadium, Oxford, England, December 29, 2012
London Welsh have impressed in their first season in the Aviva Premiership © Getty Images
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London Welsh are determined to continue their rapid rise into the elite of English rugby by bidding for a place in next season's London Double Header at Twickenham.

Wasps, London Irish, Harlequins and Saracens have traditionally been involved in the big Aviva Premiership fixtures staged at Twickenham, which have drawn crowds of up to 80,000.

But having successfully fought their way into the Aviva Premiership last season - firstly through the play-offs and then through the corridors of power - and put themselves firmly on course for top-flight survival, Welsh are targeting involvement in next season's opener.

London Welsh chief executive John Taylor told the Rugby Paper: "It's certainly on our radar. It would be wrong to say it hasn't crossed our minds to say, 'Oi, we ought to be involved in that'.

"We haven't made representations because we're obviously preoccupied with survival, but it will be an interesting one to take on board as soon as we feel safe."

London Welsh were eventually given the green light to join the Premiership after their proposal to use the Kassam Stadium in Oxford was finally approved over the summer.

And while Taylor admits there were discussions of the Exiles moving again, he insists they are now comfortable with the prospect of remaining in Oxford for at least the medium term, despite average league attendances of around 4,500.

"Our future is very much in Oxford," he said. "The way our community programme has started and the way our crowds are building have been very encouraging, and our analysis leads us to believe that it's very sustainable in Oxford.

"We were talking to Brentford but we actually don't think there's room of another Premiership club there now and it would make no sense to go back.

"With Saracens going back to Barnet and Quins pretty well tying up South West London, the only feasible place now would be somewhere like Crystal Palace where you cold serve a very strong rugby county like Kent which has no big team. But Oxford is working for us and it looks like we're already developing a decent core following."

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