RUGBY UNION: Welsh planning for longer term

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

JOHN Taylor says London Welsh are planning for the future in the Aviva Premiership – not just one season.

The club’s managing director, who is a former British Lion, knows they will find it tough against sides packed with internationals.

He stressed: “We are very aware that statistics say we are probably going to struggle.

“We are very confident that we can cause a few shocks.

“We certainly aim to be there the season after next as well.

“We are not just up for the ride. We are planning for a future in the Premiership.”

Welsh only secured promotion after winning an appeal in June, so have been playing catch-up since then.

Taylor said: “Lyn Jones summed it up a little while back. He said we are four months behind everyone else and probably four years behind Leicester.

“It is not an ideal situation when you don’t know you are going up at the end of May.

“It was actually the end of June before we could really be certain and make the sort of preparations that we wanted.

“We know that that was the situation. We are not bleating. That came with the territory.”

Taylor sees Exeter, who have shone after being promoted to the Premiership in 2010, as the model for Welsh to follow.

He said: “Exeter managed to do it and we are obviously hoping to do an Exeter.

“We have been working our butts off to get ready.”

Welsh will have a small staff doing community and development work in Oxord.

Taylor added: “We have been working very hard on creating a new fanbase up in Oxford.

“We are very excited by the response.”

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