London Scottish confident they can improve on last season’s performance


The Championship fixtures were announced yesterday.


By Andrew Belt

London Scottish will open their 2013/14 RFU Championship season with a fixture against promoted Ealing Trailfinders at Saracens’ Allianz Park on Saturday September 14.

The Championship fixtures were announced yesterday and London Welsh versus Bedford Blues will be the other fixture at Allianz Park that day for a double header to kick off the season.

Scottish, based at Richmond’s Athletic Ground, finished eighth in their second season back in rugby union’s second tier and their Director of Rugby Simon Amor anticipates a better finish next year.

“The Championship will be more competitive than ever this year with no easy games, but we’re confident that we have what it takes to improve upon last season,” Amor said.

“It’s always an exciting time of the year when the new fixtures are announced and this year is no different.”

The Exiles made the headlines last season after becoming a full-time outfit and bringing in former French international Serge Betsen as a defence coach.

Scottish hauled themselves up from being an amateur club 14 years ago and were last professional in their only campaign in the Premiership in 1998/99.

Nottingham will be the first visitors to the Athletic Ground on September 28 while other key fixtures include hosting fellow exiles Welsh on March 29 and the final game of the season at home to Bristol on April 26.

The off-season has seen Scottish add former Ireland international Neil Best plus star Championship performers Jordi Pasqualin and Tomas Francis to the squad.

Club captain Mark Bright believes the acquisitions will help lift the squad ahead of the new season.

He said: “We’re very much looking forward to the new season and the challenge of lifting our performance from last year.

“We’ve got an exciting new squad in place and we’re all raring to go ahead of the new campaign.”

Ahead of the new campaign, the Exiles will play Harlequins on August 16 at Twickenham Stoop before returning to the Athletic Ground to play co-tenants Richmond on August 24 and Esher on August 31 to complete their pre-season programme.

Photo courtesy of Images of Sri Lanka – Sequential Shots, with thanks.

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