RUGBY UNION: London Welsh skipper demands 80-minute display

Oxford Mail: London Welsh skipper Jon Mills London Welsh skipper Jon Mills

Delivering a display over 80 minutes is the priority for London Welsh at Gloucester today after they faded badly a week ago.

There was little to choose between the Exiles and Exeter Chiefs in the opening game of the LV Cup until the final 20 minutes.

The Devon side ran in four late tries to finish 42-15 winners at the Kassam Stadium.

Welsh have an even tougher assignment in their second game of the pool stage this afternoon, when they visit Gloucester.

First and foremost skipper Jon Mills wants to see his side bounce back and compete up to the final whistle.

He said: “We were disappointed with certain aspects of the game.

“They had a lot of hunger in their side and we had a lot of battered bodies out there.

“But that’s no excuse, we felt we were in the game.

“We fell off too many tackles, especially in the last 20 minutes and I think away to Gloucester it’s going to be tough.”

Progress in the competition is secondary to the fight to stay in the Aviva Premiership this season.

Head coach Lyn Jones again gives some of his fringe payers a run-out and Mills – who himself sits out the match – is hoping they are able to grasp the chance to impress.

He said: “A lot of boys will be given opportunities to show how good they are and give themselves a chance of getting in that first team side.”

The two sides have already met in the league this season, when Gloucester came from behind to snatch a late 31-25 victory at the Kassam Stadium in September.

While London Welsh have had a week to prepare for the game, their hosts were in action in midweek.

On Tuesday night they edged a friendly with Fiji 31-29 and with a similar line-up this afternoon it could work in the visitors’ favour.

For Mills the prospect of Welsh going to Kingsholm, one of the country’s most atmospheric grounds, is one of the bonuses of winning promotion.

He said: “It’s great, especially for myself and the boys who played in the Championship last season.

“Down at Old Deer Park a good crowd for us would have been 2,000, so it’s great to be going away to play on these quality surfaces in front of big crowds.

“It can only bring the best out of you and we feel it’s doing that for us.

“Hopefully it continues for a long time.”

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