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 Rugby 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

Confusion over future of West Oxfordshire-based Caterham F1 team amid threats of legal action

Oxford Mail: Tony Fernandes

12:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

CONFUSION surrounded the future of the troubled West Oxfordshire-based Caterham F1 motor racing team tonight as former boss Tony Fernandes faces legal action by the current 'owners'.

MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN: Wharton story should have wider audience

Oxford Mail: Michael Duberry

4:00pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN

Watch: Match highlights and reaction to Oxford United's win at Northampton Town

Oxford Mail:

12:13pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Watch match highlights of Oxford United's 3-1 win at Northampton Town, plus after match reaction

United go Wild with comeback victory over Northampton + Video match highlights

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

MICHAEL Appleton was thrilled by the response Oxford United showed to falling behind as they stormed back to win 3-1 at Northampton Town.

RUGBY UNION: Welsh yet to extend Hala'ufia loan

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

LONDON Welsh say they have yet to extend Chris Hala’ufia’s loan deal, despite news he will not be returning to Llanelli Scarlets.

YOUTH FOOTBALL: Mole's double brings first win

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Jacob Tudge bagged a brace as Tower Hill ended their search for a win with a 4-1 success at Kingston Colts in the Giles Sports Witney Under 14 A Youth League.

FOOTBALL: Duerden marks a Royal occasion with four-timer

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Mike Duerden bagged four goals for Premier Division leaders Carterton A in a 7-0 home thrashing of Witney Royals A.

AUNT SALLY: Wonder Walsh bags first singles crown

Oxford Mail:

4:53pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Dick Walsh became Oxford & District League singles champion for the first time after victory on finals night at the Kassam Stadium.

FUTSAL: City capture regional title

7:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Oxford City triumphed in the Nerf Junior Premier League Southern Region Under 15 tournament in Swindon.

YOUTH FOOTBALL: Wheeldon lifts Kidlington with a stunning six-timer

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Hot-shot Harry Wheeldon scored an incredible six-timer as Barton United won 7-5 at home to Kidlington Youth Colts in the Under 13 C League.

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