CHRIS Elder says London Welsh cannot take promotion back to the Aviva Premiership for granted next season.

Although Welsh still have three games to play, preparations are already well under way for next year’s Greene King IPA Championship campaign.

Yesterday, former Exiles Josh Drauniniu and Guy Armitage returned to the club from Worcester Warriors and London Irish respectively for next season.

Full back Martyn Thomas also joined from Wasps.

Elder, who scored a try on his Premiership debut against Wasps on April 12, also became the 13th player to re-sign for the Exiles when he put pen to paper on Thursday.

The 22-year-old played in the second tier of English rugby for Plymouth Albion before his move to the Exiles last summer and is fully aware of the league’s competitive nature.

  • Sport

“It will be really exciting to be involved,” he said.

“It is a competitive league and the aim is to be at the top, but we can’t take anything for granted.

“We have to start putting things in place.”

After opening his Premiership account in Welsh’s last league game, Elder is now targeting more of the same against fifth-placed Leicester Tigers today.

“To get a try was a great way to top off my debut,” he said.

“If I can continue that it will put me in good stead.

“I had been itching to play for a while and to finally get on was quite a relief because it was getting to a point where it was not going to happen.”

The Exiles were beaten 26-5 in the reverse fixture at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium in November.

Elder added: “Leicester is a formidable place to play and the atmosphere will raise the intensity of the game – it will be great to play in.

“We have to try and get into them early and carry that through for 80 minutes.”