Geraghty aiming to win back London Irish fansBy Alan Manicom
August 01, 2012
Shane Geraghty has asked London Irish fans to allow him the opportunity to win his way back into their hearts
The former England fly-half rejoined the club this summer, three years after his acrimonious departure to Northampton Saints when former head coach Toby Booth accused him of holding Exiles over a financial barrel.
But by leaving Brive in the hope of rekindling his England career with Exiles, Geraghty has taken a 50-per-cent pay cut.
And he said: “It’s good to come back to the club. I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed it, so in that sense it’s great to be back. It’s a great opportunity for me to open the next chapter of my career.
“So far the response I have had from London Irish supporters has been brilliant.
“Hopefully the reception when I go back to the Madejski Stadium will be better than the last time I was there (with Northampton)! All I can say is that I want to come back without any baggage, start afresh and come into the team to earn my spot.
Geraghty, who will turn 26 later this month, said: “I’d like to think I’m a better player now.
“I’ve had quite a few experiences in the past three years: my two years with Saints, winning the LV= Cup, getting to the final of the Heineken Cup and the semi-finals of the Premiership.
“Then the year in France was brilliant – the lifestyle, learning a different game altogether.
“The Top 14 is a tough competition. Every game is intense, even if you’re going to the team down the bottom, the crowd, the pitches and the referees make it very difficult.
“There’s even more pressure on the No. 10s to control the game, as a lot of it is forwards-based over there.”
Exiles’ director of rugby Brian Smith has hinted that Geraghty may be deployed at inside centre as well as in his more familiar fly-half role.
And Geraghty said: “I’ve been playing a mixture of No.10 and No.12 since I got back.
“I prefer playing at 10 – it’s where I’ve played most of my rugby. I’m sure if I play at 12 it’ll be as a second-ball player.
“I think the fans should be excited about the season, in terms of what (director of rugby) Brian Smith and (forwards coach) Glenn Delaney have done. “Bringing in Shaun Edwards – it’s exciting.
“We’re not in the Heineken Cup, but everything we’re going for we’re going to try to win. I think we’ve got a better squad than last year, so in that sense everybody’s on the same page and looking forward to the first game”