RUGBY UNION: Euro draw is just the tonic for Exiles

RUGBY UNION: Euro draw is just the tonic for Exiles

RUGBY UNION: Euro draw is just the tonic for Exiles

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

JUSTIN Burnell said there were exciting times ahead after London Welsh were drawn with Edinburgh, Bordeaux and Lyon in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Exiles will play in Pool 5 of European club rugby’s new second competition, with the winners progressing to the quarter-finals.

Head coach Burnell said: “It’s exciting times and it’s great that we’ll have three top-tier teams playing at the Kassam Stadium next season in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.”

The draw came after Oxford-based Welsh announced the signings of three backs to boost their Aviva Premiership campaign.

Fly half Tristan Roberts has signed from Bristol, centre Nick Reynolds from Llanelli Scarlets and full back Chris Elder from Plymouth Albion.

Burnell said: “Tristan was unfortunate this year to sit behind Nicky Robinson and Adrian Jarvis at Bristol and didn’t really get the opportunities he might have.

“But he’s got great game understanding, kicks a lot of points and after meeting with him, you could tell he’s going to fit in well to our environment.

“Nick made four Heineken Cup appearances for the Scarlets this season and he’s another player with great skills and a real turn of pace.

“Chris came out of the Wasps Academy and in the two games we played against Plymouth Albion last season he definitely showed he has something to offer – he’s a big physical lad.”

Roberts, 27, and Reynolds, 25, will be newcomers to Oxfordshire rugby, but 21-year-old Elder played on loan for Chinnor in 2010.

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