Flanker Darren Waters believes London Welsh will rise to the challenge of facing league leaders Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership this afternoon.

The Exiles make the trip to Franklin’s Gardens where Saints have only been beaten once in the league so far this season.

Northampton have already booked their place in the Premiership semi-finals, but victory over relegated Welsh would go a long way to ensuring a home tie in the last four.

For the Exiles, that elusive first win still hangs over them while they have not been able to add to the bonus point they earned at Bath in September.

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Welsh have been full of positivity in spite of their woes on the pitch and Waters insists that mentality has not wavered.

He said: “To play Northampton away on the biggest stage is brilliant and I think the team will rise to the occasion.

“Against Leicester it brought a lot out of the boys and I am pretty sure the same will happen again.”

The 29-year-old continued: “It is very tough, but we are not giving up.

“If we can stick to our performances and work hard, who knows, we could cause an upset.”

Waters became the 15th player to re-sign for the club earlier this week and says he is grateful for Welsh’s patience in what has been an injury-hit campaign.

After joining from Newport Gwent Dragons last summer, he suffered a knee injury in August.

However, he impressed on his long-awaited debut against Wasps at the Kassam Stadium last month and against Leicester Tigers on April 25.

The Welshman is now keen to repay the Exiles’ loyalty.

“I can’t thank them enough,” he said.

“They have persevered and given me a chance.

“I am just grateful for their loyalty and by re-signing I am showing my loyalty.”