Discipline a focus at London Irish

Holiday before joining London Irish

We have got a big focus on discipline this season at London Irish.

Before I arrived here in the summer, there was a perception that we had some players who spent far too long sitting out suspensions.

The Exiles’ season in 2011/12 also ended with that big fight at Gloucester.

Our new director of rugby, Brian Smith, has come in and wanted to make sure that, barring injuries, most of his side are available every week.

As a result, everyone has had to learn the laws of the game and study the various interpretations that the referees have to know inside out.

Afterwards, guys had to sit down in an exam room and take a test to see just how well they had learnt it.

Their results were assessed and they were told what they got right and what they got wrong.

It was a really good exercise because we were refreshing the fundamentals of the game in our heads. And that is not something that, as players, we would rarely sit down and devote our time to.

The experience was topped off by a visit of the Rugby Union’s disciplinary officer, Judge Jeff Blackett.

As a group of players, we can't say that we are not well prepared this season and that we haven't been warned about misdemeanors on the picth that can lead to penalties - and other, more serious misdemeanors, that can lead to suspensions.

Now we have been reminded the rules of the game, it's time to make sure that we play to our best as well and we will improve after Saturday's defeat by Sarries at Twickenham.

Our recent winning of the JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens proved to anyone who didn't already know that we have an electric back line with pace to burn.

It's up to us to make sure that the structures are in place to make the most of the assets we have.

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