RUGBY UNION: Corker out to put the bubbly on ice

London Welsh club captain Matt Corker, seen claiming this line out ball against Jersey last month, has sets his sights on reaching the final when they face Leeds Carnegie in Oxford tomorrow

London Welsh club captain Matt Corker, seen claiming this line out ball against Jersey last month, has sets his sights on reaching the final when they face Leeds Carnegie in Oxford tomorrow

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

Club captain Matt Corker is desperate for more play-off glory as London Welsh prepare to face Leeds Carnegie tomorrow (12.45).

The 31-year-old lock was part of the Welsh team that beat Cornish Pirates in the 2012 final at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

And as the Exiles host Leeds there tomorrow seeking to overturn a seven-point deficit in the Greene King IPA Championship semi-final, Corker would love to set up a repeat chance.

“I know what a fantastic experience it is to win this competition,” he said.

“We have this conversation as a unit about being in a position to be in a final and win silverware.

“There’s people playing at a very high level who don’t have those opportunities. We are just all really keen to keep pushing on.”

Corker missed almost five months of Welsh’s season due to a heart problem, but has started their last five matches.

Having battled back to fitness, he now has an extra spring in his step.

“It makes me equally hungry for success, but the nice thing is that I’m very fresh,” said Corker. “At this time of the season, you might often have 20 games under your belt and be feeling a bit worse for wear.

“I feel the best I have felt at this stage of the season and I am raring to go. I am just really hungry for the victory.”

Corker’s attitude reflects a squad who are a willing to fight together.

“We are very tight as a group,” he said. “We have a great team spirit.

“It is in these situations where you know you have to dig in and come out fighting. We would never expect anything less from ourselves.

“That makes the semi-final so exciting, there is everything to play for.

“We have got a bit of work to do – we have a seven-point deficit. But we will come out and play. We need to attack.”

Corker’s comeback has coincided with the addition of Bath loanee Will Spencer into Welsh’s second row.

“He adds a great amount of firepower to our attack and defence,” he added.

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