Kieran Roche raring to go against GloucesterBy Matthew Sadler
February 03, 2012
Kieran Roche admits he cannot wait to run out at Madejski Stadium tomorrow for London Irish’s must win LV= Cup game against holders Gloucester after finally getting his injury-ravaged season back on track.
The 32-year-old ruptured his pectoral muscle in Exiles’ second game of the season – a 30-29 defeat at Sale Sharks on September 9 – but returned to action last Saturday with 40 minutes against Scarlets.
Irish must beat Gloucester to stand any chance of qualifying from Pool 2 of the competition, but are also relying on Newcastle Falcons defeating current leaders Leicester Tigers.
Roche said: “It’s really nice to back and it’s been a good while (since playing at Madejski Stadium) and hopefully we will get a good turnout as it should be an entertaining game.
“Gloucester had a big win last week and we are looking to throw the ball around a bit more as well.
“We need a win to kick on and its a big game for us and we are looking for a good performance.
“I ruptured my pec up in Sale. It was a really innocuous regular tackle, but it pulled the pec off which is a bit random.
“It wasn’t too painful to be honest, but it was uncomfortable.
“I was a little bit sore after the weekend which is to be expected.
The legs and lungs felt worse than the pec, though.
“The lungs were stretched a bit for the first time in a while, but I’ve had another good week and am ready and looking forward to the game.”
Irish are again without Alex Corbisiero and Paul Hodgson, who are on international duty and they will also have to make do without Marlande Yarde and Jonathan Joseph for the visit of Gloucester.
Joseph was called into the Saxons squad after Exiles’ defeat to Scarlets, but has since had to withdraw because of a groin injury, while Yarde plays for England Under-20s tonight against Scotland.
With the resources at Irish being stretched Roche and club stalwart Bob Casey insist now is the time for younger players to push foraplace in the side.
Roche said: “Training doesn’t change much (when players are away on international duty). The younger guys are more aware that they have an opportunity so it brings them to the fore more in training.
“Guys have to step up and get noticed a bit more.
And Casey added: “Where there’s a chance we will still go out and give it 100 per cent. We were very disappointed after the weekend, but some of our young guys who are getting opportunities really stepped up so it bodes well.
“It’s important for us to just put in a performance and get the win – we need a win.”
Pride of Britain and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner, Phil Packer MBE, will be walking around the outside of Madejski Stadium prior to the game to raise awareness of the BRIT organisation.
The organisation’s overall goal is to build a centre fo rcharities to send young people to in order for them to regain their self-confidence.
Visit www.BRIT2012Challenge.org.uk for more information