London Welsh captain promises competitive team
July 2, 2012
Jonathan Mills led London Welsh into the Premiership, where he predicts his team will be competitive © PA Photos
London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills has promised their fans that the Championship winners will be competitive when they start life in the Aviva Premiership in September.
The Exiles this week successfully appealed against the decision to block their promotion to the Premiership having beaten Cornish Pirates in the Championship promotion play-off final in May. Senior figures at the club have said that they are aiming to recruit eight top-level players to makes sure that the team is competitive on their Premiership debut, but Mills believes that their time in the Championship will have stood the team in good stead for the coming season.
"People just don't realise how competitive the Championship is," Mills told The Rugby Paper. "We are going to be ready. It has been what we've been hoping for all summer so it is a huge relief that the decision has gone our way. We are heading into pre-season now and we know we are going to have to work extremely hard. We're going to be ready though. I've played Heineken Cup before I came to Welsh and I don't think people realise how good the Championship is. It will be a different type of season for us, so we'll have to get used to that, the intensity will be different, making sure we perform every week. It is a huge step for the club. But we have to make sure we perform."
Despite being given what has been described as a 'war-chest' from London Welsh bosses, head coach Lyn Jones says he is in no rush to start signing players up and would like to reward the members of the team who helped the club to promotion.
He is also confident that the club will not suffer from their move to Oxford United's Kassam Stadium, despite it being located 50miles from their traditional Old Deer Park home.
"We've just had news that we're about to go up and play in the Premiership and we will be interested to speak to several players who have been Premiership and international standard at one time or other in their careers," Jones told BBC Sport. "We've got a very good squad and a very good team. We were the best in the championship and we understand that we need to strengthen our squad, but we feel there is a lot of good talent at London Welsh and we are keen to give those boys the opportunity to show themselves. People will come because they are keen on London Welsh and keen on Premiership rugby and good quality rugby. The one thing about English rugby supporters is that they do go out and support their rugby clubs."
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