RUGBY UNION: Welsh seeking festive boost

9:30am Wednesday 18th December 2013

By Ed Mezzetti

LONDON Welsh captain Tom May is hoping for a Christmas boost from rugby fans in Oxford.

Greene King IPA Championship leaders Welsh host London Scottish in the battle of the Exiles at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday (5pm).

And May hopes his side can benefit from a higher crowd than the average of 1,250 they have so far managed this season.

“We have moved to Oxford for a reason,” said former England international May.

“We want the rugby-supporting public and the area as a whole to get involved with us. It would be fantastic if some more of them came along this week.

“We have had some good performances at home.

“Once Oxford as a city and the people see that London Welsh are here to stay, I think there is a lot of potential.

“All the offices are up in Oxford now and that’s where everything is based.”

Welsh arguably need to do more to promote themslves in Oxford, but May believes progress will come.

“As players, we can only do a certain amount, and that is contained within the four white lines on the field,” he said.

“It is up to the off-field staff to make the difference and I am sure they are working very hard. It is a long-term thing.”

Like many of Welsh’s senior players, May missed the British & Irish Cup victories over Edinburgh Academical.

But head coach Justin Burnell is expected to revert to his big guns on Saturday.

Welsh surrendered their 100 per cent league record with a 28-26 defeat at Bedford and are determined to bounce back.

“It was disappointing against Bedford,” May added. “We let ourselves down.

“Coming back to the Kassam Stadium, we want to peform well at a key time just before Christmas.”

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