BOOTH CONFIDENT

London Irish head coach Toby Booth has denied that there is a witch hunt at London Irish and says that they will recover soon. The Exiles’ latest setback was a 28-18 loss at Harlequins on Monday.

Booth told BBC Berkshire: “This is not about pointing the finger. I’ll always back my players and defend my players.

“Over the last three or four weeks we’ve made significant strides but those strides aren’t big enough. We have to bring this run to an end.”

LAMB LOOKING FORWARD TO WILKINSON CLASH

Ryan Lamb has said that he is very much looking forward to the clash with Wilkinson. I
Irish host Wilkinson’s Toulon on Sunday in the Heineken Cup, a game Lamb describes as a “massive test”.

He told BBC Berkshire: “Jonny’s a legend of the game and there are no superlatives left to say about him.

“But as much as you respect him as a player and as a person, when you go out onto the pitch you have to worry about your own game.”

He added: “When I was growing up and at school, Jonny was a big influence.

LONDON IRISH LOSE TO NORTHAMPTON

A good London Irish side that defeated by Northampton in a closely fought match. Ryan Lamb struck two early drop-goals before Saints hit back with tries from Jamie Elliott and Paul Diggin.

Jon Clarke then crossed on the stroke of half-time as the Exiles crumbled.

Diggin’s second try after the interval ensured the bonus point for Saints before Chris Hala’ufia went over for Irish and Topsy Ojo also touched down.

This was a hugely impressive performance by the home side, who were without six of their internationals, over their nearest rivals.

And it was built on a devastating first-half effort by the Northampton pack who laid the foundation for an utterly one-sided half of rugby.

Irish started brightly, spraying the ball across the width of the park, as Lamb gave them a six-point lead inside two minutes.