RUGBY UNION: Keats aims to turn on style

Scrum half Tyson Keats in action for London Welsh

Scrum half Tyson Keats in action for London Welsh

First published in Sport Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Tyson Keats has urged London Welsh to win big when they host Italian side Cavalieri Prato in the Amlin Chall;enge Cup at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford, today (2).

Welsh have proved very tenacious this season, but they have yet to secure a winning bonus point by scoring four tries or more.

The Exiles were awarded maximum points in round three after Grenoble fielded an unregistered player, but scrum half Keats believes they can achieve the feat on the field today.

“Firstly, we want to win, but we want to score four tries,” said Keats.

“That is a definite goal and has gone around a lot in conversation.

“We were given a four-try win in Grenoble, so we want to do it properly now.

“There are a lot of hungry players who are playing for a starting position in the Premiership.

“I think our style of play in the second half against Harlequins was a lot more dynamic.

“We are looking to produce more performances like that.”

Keats, 31, played Super Rugby in his native New Zealand for the Crusaders and the Hurricanes before moving to Italy last year.

However, he only played one season for Aironi before they went bust and Welsh snapped him up in September.

Keats has had to adapt his game to the Aviva Premiership, but is relishing playing for the Exiles.

“Super Rugby is a lot, lot faster, but you have to take into consideration the different weather,” said Keats.

“Over here the scrums are a lot more important and the breakdown is contested a lot more.

“I am still learning certain aspects of my game over here.”

He added: “It has been good fun being at Welsh. I am enjoying it. We seem to be bonding well.

“I have played for a lot of teams and this is definitely one where the players want to play for each other.

“There are no big egos in the team and everyone is getting on with each other.”

Keats established himself as Welsh’s first-choice scrum half, but the last three Premiership matches have seen loanee Rob Lewis handed the No 9 shirt.

Lewis joined Cardiff Blues from Welsh last summer and Keats welcomes the rivalry his return brings.

“You always try to rise to the challenge,” said Keats.

“It is good to have some competition in the team.

“Whether I am on the bench or starting, I will always give my all.”

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