RUGBY UNION: London Welsh will keep pushing until play-offs

The Oxford Times: London Welsh’s James Tidewell (right) and Mike Denbee launch an attack during their 33-26 at Jersey. Justin Burnell is warning of another battle on Saturday London Welsh’s James Tidewell (right) and Mike Denbee launch an attack during their 33-26 at Jersey. Justin Burnell is warning of another battle on Saturday

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell insists there will be no let up from his side, despite having already secured a play-off spot.

The Exiles have guaranteed a top-four finish with three matches to spare in the Greene King IPA Championship, so could be forgiven for easing off until the play-offs start.

But with Jersey visiting the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, followed by clashes against Bristol and Nottingham, Burnell is determined this won’t happen.

“Our approach will be no different,” he said.

“There is still a lot to play for and we will be working very hard for these three games.

“Jersey will be coming here looking to upset us and then there is Bristol and Nottingham. These are big games.”

Burnell added: “It is exciting that we have committed ourselves to Kassam Stadium for another three years.

“Hopefully, we will have a beautiful day and a really good crowd on Saturday.”

The play-offs will see first play fourth and second take on third.

Asked whether finishing top was important, Burnell said: “It is just about keeping our momentum and winning our remaining games.

“Wherever that puts us in the league, so be it.”

Welsh were pushed hard before winning 33-26 in a wet and windy clash at Jersey in January.

And Burnell says the Channel Islanders cannot be taken lightly.

“The biggest thing we have learnt this year is how competitive the league can be,” he said.

“We have lost to three teams that are not in the top four.”

Burnell will make six or seven changes from the side that beat London Scottish and said places in his play-off squads were up for grabs.

“All year we have not fielded exaxctly the same team from one match to the next,” he said.

“I couldn’t tell you what my strongest team is.”

With the play-offs not concluding until June 4, Burnell will do what he can to keep them fresh.

“It’s not about just flogging them in training, but maintaining our fitness,” he said.

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