RUGBY UNION: Exiles skipper wants to join 200 club in Premiership

Matt Corker leads London Welsh at Bristol tonight

Matt Corker leads London Welsh at Bristol tonight

First published in Sport
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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

London Welsh club captain Matt Corker could make his 200th appearance for the Exiles as a Premiership player.
But as the experienced lock prepares for match 199 in tonight’s crunch Greene King IPA Championship final second leg at Bristol, he says the double century is just one motivating factor.
Corker and his teammates carry a 19-point lead to the Memorial Stadium, so are well placed to secure an immediate top-flight return.
“The pleasing thing is that I am not short of incentives,” said Corker, who was also part of Welsh’s 2012 Championship-    winning team.
“It was always a goal of mine to bring this club into the Premiership, so to do it again would be amazing.
“But we can’t get carried away. We have got to be right on our game, it is not a foregone conclusion.
He added: “We are taking a good lead and are in a good position.
“If we win these two games, we are going to win the Championship. That’s the way I am looking at it.”
Corker missed almost five months of the season with a heart problem before returning on March 30, but is now back playing as well as ever.
“Two years ago, I went into the final with 25 games under my belt,” he said.
“I was having everything strapped, left, right and centre.
“It is a great feeling to be able to go into a final fresh like this.”
He joined Welsh in 2007 and has seen plenty of ups and downs since.
“I am very proud to have been involved with the club for a long time,” he said. “I think the best thing for a leader in any sport is to lead on the pitch.
“We have got some great leaders in Tom May and Gordon Ross.
“Betweeen us and a couple of others, we will be looking to make a mark.”
He added: “There are boys that have played for a good few years who have never won a medal.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to get some silverware, which is something you will remember forever.
“It is one of the best prizes in world rugby.”
A hostile 12,000 crowd is expected tonight, but Corker is unfazed.
“I just see it as atmosphere,” he said.
“Even when there is a crowd shouting out against you, it can just feel like noise.”

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