JUSTIN Burnell says setting up an academy and a regular second team would be the best way forward for London Welsh.

The Exiles head coach took his squad strength to 47 players after making eight signings this week, but needs several loan agreements to keep enough of his troops match fit.

Although that arrangement can work well for Welsh and their partner clubs, Burnell would like to build more from within.

“We have got aspirations,” he said. “If we can get an academy up and running and keep as many players in action as possible, that would be great.

“It would be good to have a second-tier team from the professional squad.”