SA hooker gets derby start

Former Bok hooker Danie Coetzee will wear the No 2 jersey for London Irish in their derby match against Wasps on Friday.

A narrow 20-19 win over Harlequins at Twickenham last Saturday was enough reason for the Exiles director of rugby, Brian Smith, to name an unchanged side for the encounter.

Smith has included Coetzee in his run-on XV for the trip to Adams Park.

Referring to the victory over Harlequins, Smith said that although there was room for improvement, he was happy with the resolve of the players to hang on for the win.

“While we were not 100 per cent happy with our performance last Saturday, the guys showed skill and professionalism in the second half in particular in frustrating an aggressive Harlequins team,” he told the official Premiership site.

He predicted that the game would mimic the robust and abrasive style of play that characterised the Harlequins game but suggested that they wouldn’t be limited to one particular pattern.

“Having watched London Wasps play Saracens, we know we are in for another tough contest tomorrow night.  I’m not expecting another ‘try-fest’ like our game last April but we will be going all out to attack and score tries.”

Round 2 Premiership fixtures:

Friday

London Wasps vs London Irish
Newcastle Falcons vs Worcester Warriors

Saturday

Sale Sharks vs Northampton Saints
Bath vs Leicester Tigers
Harlequins vs Gloucester
Bristol vs Saracens