The Wokingham Paper

INTERVIEW: London Irish forward Barney Maddison excited ahead of Premiership Rugby return

Barney Maddison scores
Barney Maddison rounded off the scoring

London Irish forward Barney Maddison believes that there are exciting times ahead for the club as they prepare for their return to the top flight of English rugby. 

The Exiles were narrowly defeated by Harlequins last weekend at the Madejski Stadium in the Premiership Rugby Cup and they travel away to face Bristol Bears in the competition this Saturday.

“It was a tough loss to take. We played a lot of good attacking rugby There were a few defensive lapses or their tries but there were a lot of positives to come out of it,” said Maddison.

Tom Parton on the charge supported by Barney Maddison e
Tom Parton in action against Nottingham – he scored two tries for Irish

“It was only our second game of the season so it’s good to have a lot of positives to take from it.

“The Bristol game at the weekend will be another big test, all of the boys are looking forward to it and we’ve all had a pretty good week in training. 

“We’ll look to iron out a few of the mistakes that we made last week and a few technical things but we’ll be looking to put all of our work from the week and maximum effort into the game.”

Maddison says that the players are excited ahead of the clubs return to the Premiership as they prepare for their final season at the Madejski Stadium before they move to Brentford in the summer of 2020.

“It’s certainly going to be an exciting season. Obviously last year we won promotion from the Championship back to the Premiership, it’s a real cliché to say but we’ll take each game as it comes. 

Curtis Rona breaks through a tackle.
London Irish v Harlequins Curtis Rona breaks through a tackle.

“We want to enjoy ourselves and try to express what we do in training on the pitch on a Saturday and try and get the best results that we can. 

“A lot of big signings have come to the club over the summer, it shows the ambition of the club and where it wants to go and for people like myself, it gives you the chance to train and play with some top-end internationals. It’s definitely exciting times ahead for the club.

“The competition is definitely a motivation, you want to have competition. You always want to test yourself against the best so were training against players that have made a lot of international appearances and that can only make you a better player.

“I think any big move, like our move to Brentford next season, brings ahead exciting times. We’ve loved being at the Madejski, it’s a really good ground and the support, as you could see last Saturday was where it needs to be, it was spot on. 

“A lot of the boys are looking forward to the move, I think it’s a positive thing all round for the club.”  

Irish begin their Premiership campaign on Sunday, October 20, before their first home fixture of the season where they host Sale on Saturday, October 26.

Matt Williams sprints past a tackle.
London Irish v Harlequins Matt Williams sprints past a tackle.

“We’re away in Coventry for our first Premiership game of the season against Wasps, we’re sure it will be a very tough game. We have a new bunch of lads playing together, we’re all really looking forward to it and playing again in the top flight. 

“The fans will definitely help our home form to be as strong as possible. The support last year was class, whether we were away all the way down in Penzance or at home, there were always Irish supporters there so it was fantastic support all round and we’re hoping that we will have more of the same this year.”

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