TOM COURT is delighted that crucial matches are arriving thick and fast for London Irish, who host Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership at the Madjeski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The ‘St Patrick’s Party’ is expected to attract a decent crowd to the Reading venue, and Court is looking forward to an encounter which carries significance for London Irish. “It should be great, the other boys have told me what goes on, it will be a big celebration, but it is important that we don’t get too distracted,” Court admitted.
“I think recently our form has picked up, we have a bit of momentum and there is some positivity about the place. With the new coaching team for next season announced and with some high profile signings set to join things look good for the club.
“Since November I feel that our form has been more consistent. We have been a little unlucky in some of our recent games and the win over London Welsh was a boost too.
“We wanted to gain more respect in the Premiership because we had a tough time before Christmas and we have done that.
“Newcastle, though, have been unfortunate in several games too so we know that we will have to put in a good performance. We will need to be at our best, but with a good crowd there we will want to show what we can do.”
It promises to be a hectic couple of weeks for Irish, who face Edinburgh in Reading on Easter Sunday in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup too.
Court accepts that is a critical contest. “It is important to us as a team and as a club. I suppose our hopes have been pinned on this since November and December because at that stage we knew the Premiership wasn’t going the way we had planned.
“We have a really great chance in the Challenge Cup, we got a home quarter final which is what we wanted. Now it is up to us try to get a home semi-final.
“Regardless of the Challenge Cup, though, we know we have to be ready for Newcastle in the Premiership. We aren’t good enough to be looking too far ahead. Newcastle have developed as a team and we are expecting a very tough test.”