RUGBY UNION: Ajuwa's out to make his case for wing spot

Joe Ajuwa powers on during London Welsh’s 26-23 victory over Pontypridd

Joe Ajuwa powers on during London Welsh’s 26-23 victory over Pontypridd

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

JOE Ajuwa hopes his three tries in two games will be enough to raise him up the pecking order at London Welsh.

The powerful wing bagged a brace in Sunday’s British & Irish Cup victory over Pontypridd to follow up the one he scored in the previous week’s league win at Jersey.

Ajuwa went on loan to Rosslyn Park earlier in the season after struggling to get game time with the Exiles, but is now back in the picture.

Asked if his tries would make a statement to Welsh’s head coach Justin Burnell, he replied: “Hopefully. A winger’s job is to score tries and I am doing that at the moment, so hopefully he will give me the nod.

“To be fair, the other boys have been playing very well.

“Guys like Nick Scott and Seb Stegmann are fantastic players, but I am just going to try and muscle my way in.

“Hopefully, he will look for something a little bit different and give me a shot.”

Power and strength are certainly big selling points for the 30-year-old wing and he hopes his direct style of play can keep catching the eye.

“I find myself doing more and more ‘pick-and-gos’ nowadays,” said Ajuwa.

“I am getting bigger and am not quite as fast as I was when I was younger, but it is working so it is a case of don’t change it.”

Although a victory, the Pontypridd game didn’t go fully to plan for Welsh, with Ajuwa acknowledging they have plenty to work on.

He said: “It was a bit scrappy and the referee was allowing them to compete a lot and it threw us off our game a little bit.

“It was frustrating, but we were quite happy with the win.

“Pontypridd looked forward to destroying everything we did and they did a good job of it.

“We need to go back and sort it out. We should be able to fix things ourselves.

“There is a lot to work on, but a win is a win and we’ll take that momentum from there.”

Welsh need a bonus-point victory at London Scottish on Saturday to have the best chance of reaching the British & Irish Cup’s knockout stages.

Playing opponents who have already beaten them twice is an added incentive, but Ajuwa said it was also important in the bigger picture.

“We are looking to win every single game,” he said. “It is about momentum.

“We are constantly talking about going back up to the Premiership.

“But we need to take it a game at a time. Scottish have beaten us twice and they are our old neighbours with our training grounds so close together.

“We’ll be looking to hurt them.”

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