The Wokingham Paper

London Irish star Petrus du Plessis looks to take Euro boost into Sarries trip

van der Merwe Porecki Du Plessis
Exiles are 10 points adrift at the foot of the table

EXILES star Petrus du Plessis is confident Saracens’ winning run can be stopped when the two sides meet this weekend.

The talented prop is relishing the match against his former club, who currently top the Aviva Premiership and believes last week’s resounding 44-7 triumph in Paris has given London Irish a boost after a series of defeats.

“It promises to be an exciting game and one the team are really looking forward to,” he told The Wokingham Paper.

Petrus du Plessis is set for a recall to the side

“We know exactly what they bring, we know their game plan and we respect that. We take nothing for granted but any team can be turned over on the day.

“We are looking forward to the game and we believe we have a well rounded team that can meet any challenge.”

Du Plessis signed for the Exiles this summer but has sat out the last two weeks of European action in preparation for Saturday’s trip to Allianz Park.

And after losing each of the last five league games, he believes the club can take a lot from the big win over Stade Français.

“It was an amazing victory and still very much fresh in our minds,” added du Plessis.

“The team were just amazing. They worked hard and showed what can be achieved when you have the right structures in place. A victory like that is something that encourages the whole squad.

“We have also benefited from the rotation and all the players are fresh and ready to go out and play. That is a good situation to be in before the match with Saracens.

“We have been training hard building on our strengths. We have a big physical pack. I feel

Joe Cokanasiga has kept his place after impressive showings in Europe (Pic by Steve Smyth)

really good and can’t wait to get on the pitch for what promises to be a great match.

“Rugby is simple. You do the small things well and you see results.”

Du Plessis said the record breaking appearance by team mate Topsy Ojo is also an inspiration for the squad ahead of the Saracens game.

The London Irish wing was in scintillating form in Paris, scoring two tries on a night which made him the most capped Exile of all time with 281 London Irish appearances as he surpassed the record previously held by Justin Bishop.

“He was in amazing form and we are all delighted for him,” added du Plessis.

“He is an inspiration especially to the younger players. He shows what can be achieved if you stick to a club.”

Nick Kennedy has made eight changes to the side which won in Paris with Fergus Mulchrone among the notable recalls as he lines up for the first time since the opening day win over Harlequins.

LONDON IRISH XV: Bell, Cokanasiga, Fowlie, Mulchrone, Lewington, Marshall, Meehan, Franks, Paice (c), du Plessis, van der Merwe, Paulo, McNally, Cowan, Treviranus.
Reps: Woolstencroft, Elrington, Hoskins, Schatz, Northcote-Green, Steele, Brophy Clews, Ojo.

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