Richmond host London Scottish this Saturday in the first league meeting between the two rival south London sides since 2019.
Floods of spectators will travel to Richmond Athletic Ground for the 3:00pm kick off, not least because the venue serves as the home turf for both clubs.
The ground share has lasted for 127 years and adds spice to a local rivalry already steeped in antipathy.
Richmond captain and outside centre Cameron Mitchell remained prudent when discussing his side’s league rival.
He said: “It’s always fantastic to play in a derby game.
“It will be a fierce contest but there will also be a mutual respect between the two sides.”
Having played three league matches thus far, Richmond find themselves in eighth position in the Championship table.
An important 27-24 victory over Nottingham two weeks ago showcased Richmond’s resilience after the London side ended the half trailing by 11 points.
Mitchell was quick to heap praise on talisman number eight Mark Bright, whose impressive second half hat-trick helped lead Richmond to victory.
“He’s 43 now and has a massive amount of experience and can do everything,” said Mitchell.
Bright is not the only older head in the dressing room – Mitchell is now entering his seventh year as a player for Richmond.
Following the retirement of numerous senior players in recent years, Richmond’s squad has been rejuvenated with the arrival of younger athletes.
Mitchell added: “We have a much younger team now; many of our players have only been here one or two years.
“The push now is to harness all that young talent.”
One such player is winger Hamish Graham, who managed to bundle over the try line last week to score Richmond’s only points in a close fought 10-5 loss against Coventry.
London Scottish’s form heading into the derby leaves a lot to be desired for as they remain winless and sit bottom of the Championship table.
Heavy defeats to the Jersey Reds and the Doncaster Knights were slightly offset by a close-fought contest with Ampthill last week in which Scottish narrowly missed out on a losing bonus point.
Last year the team were forced to make their players semi-professional after their funding was cut by the RFU and chose to opt out of the 2020/21 season due to health concerns and funding strains.
A lack of game time and slashes in funding have seriously affected London Scottish, which makes their slow start to the season far from surprising.
Richmond will be hoping to cement themselves as a stalwart Championship side this Saturday, while London Scottish are desperately in need of a win to help jumpstart their season.
Tickets for Richmond vs London Scottish can be purchased here or bought at the gate with a card payment.
Featured Image Credit: Danté K Photography