Much more than a goal kicker.

Much more than a goal kicker.

This year I want to make sure I am known for much more than just goal-kicking.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s an important part of my game – but I’m working hard to improve all-round, and I would hate to end up pigeon-holed.

The biggest challenge of all is to win selection, first and foremost, because we’ve got a new group of players and no one is a dead-cert for the starting line-up.

But on top of that, the challenge I’ve set for myself is to get far more involved in every aspect of our play at London Irish.

So that means carrying the ball more in phase play, having a bigger hand in counter attacks – but also being smart about those instances where I step into the line.

From full-back you have a decent overview of the situations unfolding on the field, and it’s up to me to take advantage and exploit that.

There’s a bit of freedom to attack under Brian Smith’s blueprint, and hopefully we can capitalise on that too.

There have been a lot of changes over the summer and a lot of established players have left the club or retired altogether.

But all that offers is an opportunity for younger guys to step up and fill their boots.

We’ll all be thrown greater responsibility this year, and that’s something we actually crave rather than shy away from.

Everyone here is confident in their ability, and there’s only one way to fulfil potential, and that’s to play.

Jonathan Joseph is a great example: this time last year outside the club he was perhaps viewed as a rookie with a chance of a breakthrough Premiership season.

By the middle of the summer he was establishing himself in the full England team.

That’s how quickly things can develop: it would be great if as a club we can mirror that kind of rise this season.

Clearly it’s not an overnight process but I think we’ve got a squad that will grow into the challenge, and a vastly-experienced set of coaches who know how to get the best out of us.


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