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

FOOTBALL: Abingdon United handed a home draw in FA Vase

Oxford Mail: football generic

12:48pm Monday 24th November 2014

Abingdon United host Hassocks or Ashford United (Kent) in the FA Vase 3rd round proper, if they win at Littlehampton in Wednesday's replay.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion from 12 noon.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City boss keeping in-form striker Adi Yussuf grounded

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Monday 24th November 2014

TOP scorer Adi Yussuf may have scored four times in his last two matches for Oxford City, but general manager Justin Merritt won’t let the striker get carried away, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Oxford United head coach has mixed feelings after goalless draw

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Phillips has reasons to be positive

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 24th November 2014

ROWLAND Phillips pointed to some encouraging signs, despite London Welsh slipping to a 12th straight defeat of the season.

FOOTBALL: Hat-trick hero John Mills clocks up Didcot Town milestone

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:50am Monday 24th November 2014

PROLIFIC scorer John Mills hit another hat-trick to bring up a career half-century of goals for Didcot Town in their emphatic win in Division 1 South & West.

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