RUGBY UNION: Tough tests are helping Exiles

8:00am Saturday 25th January 2014

London Welsh captain Tom May believes their recent narrow victories can hold the team in good stead.

May leads a team featuring five changes in tomorrow’s Greene King IPA Championship clash with Leeds at the Kassam Stadium (2.30).

Welsh have seen off Jersey, Pontypridd and London Scottish by seven points or fewer in 2014 – and can expect another close match against promotion rivals Leeds.

“It is important to know how to win tight games and put them to bed, “ said May.

“Perhaps if we were winning by 20-30 points, we would not necessarily stick to all the details we should be.

“Some of the fixtures we have got coming up are pretty tough.

“If we are to get the best out of each other, we need to use the experience of winning tight matches.”

Gordon Ross returns at fly half against his former club in place of the injured Seb Jewell, while Nick Scott replaces Joe Ajuwa on the wing.

Alec Hepburn, Nathan Morris and Peter Edwards, all replacements against London Scottish last Saturday, make up a new front row.

Leeds include Josh Griffin, who grew up in Witney and went to Henry Box School, on the wing. He is the younger brother of former Leeds Rhinos and now Salford rugby league player Darrell Griffin.

Wasps loanee Jonah Holmes, who has previously played for Welsh and Henley, will start at full back.

TOMORROW’S TEAMS London Welsh: Awcock, Stegmann, May (capt), Parker, Scott, Ross, Cook, Hepburn, Morris, Edwards, Lees Browne, Thorpe, Kirwan, Stedman. Reps: Vella, Trevett, Tideswell, Nimmo, Denbee, Frost, Robinson.

Leeds Carnegie: Holmes, Griffin, Burdon, Clarke, Vickerman, Hughes, J Doherty, Harris, Nilsen, Hooper, Hannay, Myerscough, Beck, Rowan (capt), Burrows. Reps: Graham, Currie, Imiolek, Casson, Walker, Hampson, D Doherty.

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