Amlin exit could be blessing in disguise

London Irish lock George Skivington has been involved in European competition before with Wasps and Tigers

Every player in the English Premiership wants to taste success in Europe.

I am lucky to have been on some good runs in the Heineken Cup during my time at Wasps and, more recently, Leicester Tigers.

Even though London Irish had not qualified for the Heineken, the club were still keen to do well in the Amlin Cup.

Our back-to-back losses to Glocester though have pretty much ended any ambitions we had to progress in the competition.

That was obviously a disappointment to the club and to players who like to pit their wits against sides from other countries.

But, deep down, I feel our exit may be a blessing in disguise.

I don't think our squad is big enough this season to challenge on three fronts.

In pre-season, when we had lots of players on trial, it seemed a different story. But then, as the season has wore on, and guys have become injured, we have all realised that there is not a huge player pool here at Irish.

Nobody likes to lose matches, especially in our situation. But progress in the Amlin would have hurt us because guys would be playing more rugby in the latter stages of the competition and, because of the law of averages, we would have picked up more knocks to key men.

We will need every player we have got if we are going to get ourselves away from the bottom end of the Aviva Premiership table.

Because of the way it works with sides from the Heineken Cup qualifying for the latter stages of the Amlin, we would have no doubt had a big side like a Munster or something to play if we had made the last eight. That would be a big game for everyone and while, that would be great at the time, we simply cannot afford any distractions from the task of achieving Premiership survival.


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