Last season was undoubtedly one to forget for London Welsh fans, but club captain Matt Corker is urging his teammates to remember the pain as they embark on another season in the Greene King IPA Championship.
London Welsh’s solitary season at English rugby’s top table never really took off as they ended the season with 22 losses in as many games and with just one point to their name – this coming in round two against eventual runners-up Bath.
But while the likes of former All Black Piri Weepu, Dean Schofield and Chris Hala’ufia have all moved on, the core of last season’s squad has stayed at the Exiles.
And second row Corker is adamant this will play into London Welsh’s hands as they look to bounce back to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
“I think as with anything traumatic you don’t forget, but you try and learn a great deal,” he said.
“So we won’t forget last season and we will try and move on from it as quickly as possible.
“Obviously there wasn’t much that could have gone worse for us last season so we are very motivated to make sure we put that right as a group and we are very lucky that we have managed to stay together as a group.
“So in the main a lot of players from last year are still with us and I am very confident that those experiences from last season are going to push us forward this season.
“The biggest thing for me was how positive we stayed. We obviously had some very tough days but the way the squad to a man came in on the Monday and looked to fix the problems that we had is something I was really proud of.
“Obviously playing against the best players in the world was a very beneficial experience and will help us raise our game.”
First up for London Welsh this Greene King IPA Championship season is a trip to Doncaster Knights before they entertain Bristol Rugby.
And while it might not be the clashes against the likes of Leicester Tigers and Saracens that they enjoyed last year, Corker can’t wait to get going.
“We are very much looking forward to the Greene King IPA Championship and the focus is that we get our fitness down and start building on those foundations from last season,” he added.
“It has been massive for us to regroup. Obviously when something really bad happens it is good to have some time off but everyone has drawn a line under it and moving in the same direction and that is massive.
“I can’t wait. We are obviously very keen to win a game but we never underestimate the challenge of that.
“The strength of the league is massive and we are not underestimating the challenge that awaits.”
The 2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship kicks-off on September 5th. To stay up-to-date with all the latest action from across the league, follow @Champrugby on Twitter.
Feature image shows Michael Hills of Doncaster Knights on the left and Matt Corker of London Welsh on the right