RUGBY UNION: Exiles are back where they belong, says Burnell

We're back! London Welsh and coach Justin Burnell celebrate

We're back! London Welsh and coach Justin Burnell celebrate

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

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said the club were back where they belong after securing promotion to the Premiership last night.

The Exiles won the Greene King IPA Championship final 48-28 on aggregate after a pulsating 21-20 second-leg victory over Bristol at the Memorial Stadium.

Although Welsh had a 19-point lead from the first leg, they were under pressure throughout before sneaking victory late on.

The feat represents a huge triumph for a club who dropped out of the top flight last term when they fell away following a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

“This means everything,” said an elated Burnell.

“But it’s more important for the famous name of London Welsh.

“It is back where it belongs. It’s next to your Leicesters, your Saracens and your Northamptons. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Burnell secured an immediate top-flight return for Welsh in his first year at the club and reflected on what a long haul it had been.

“You have got to laugh at that,” he said. “That’s 52 weeks and still going strong.

“There’s a lot of emotions, but Bristol are a fantastic team with all their firepower.

“I wanted to win the two legs. I didn’t want to do the aggregate thing.

“I am just elated!”

Burnell said his side’s battling qualities had again been on show against Bristol, but they were already looking ahead to next season.

“We have always been about workrate,” he said.

“We are happy, but it’s all hands on the deck again now, I guess.”

As well as praising his players, Burnell paid tribute to the backing he had received locally.

“You have always supported me,” he said.

Latest Sport news

Oxford United hope for Roberts return inside a month

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

JAMES Roberts could return to Oxford United action in three or four weeks after his hamstring injury was found to be less serious than initially feared.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

12:04pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

Check out what is in our interactive back page today...

OTHER SPORT: Janette Cardy driven on by awards

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Janette Cardy was inspired to make a remarkable recovery from a career-threatening stroke by the prospect of returning to the Oxfordshire Sports Awards, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

FOOTBALL: Wantage Town duo are ruled out

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Wantage Town will be without Ian Lovegrove and Sam Barder (suspended) when they host Cinderford Town in Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West tonight.

HOCKEY: Determined Hawks hold leaders

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

CLINICAL finishing and resolute defending helped Oxford Hawks to secure a notable 2-2 draw at home to leaders Slough in Investec Conference West.

RUGBY UNION: Titans toppled as Chinnor leave it late

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NATIONAL 2 SOUTH

RACING: Harry Whittington celebrates with Arzal victory

Oxford Mail: Harry Whittington

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Harry Whittington, who trains at Sparsholt, near Wantage, celebrated his 34th birthday by saddling Arzal to upset hot favourite West Wizard at Kempton yesterday.

RUGBY UNION: Quins are thrashed by leaders

Oxford Mail: Oxford Harlequins full back Jack Robinson races through for one of his six tries during the 79-7 hammering of Swindon that sent Quins top

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NATIONAL 3 SOUTH WEST

Michael Appleton aiming to loan out Oxford United players

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Michael Appleton is keen to loan out a couple of senior Oxford United players before the window closes on Thursday.

RUGBY UNION: Heathcote's Blues hope

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

FRASER Heathcote will get a late chance to push for Varsity Match selection when Oxford University host Loughborough University at Iffley Road tonight (7.30).

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree