RUGBY UNION: Arscott praises Welsh progress

Wing Joe Ajuwa keeps his place in the London Welsh side to face Harlequins tonight

Wing Joe Ajuwa keeps his place in the London Welsh side to face Harlequins tonight

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

LONDON Welsh full back Tom Arscott says they are not far away from being competitive in the Aviva Premiership.

The 25-year-old was delighted to score Welsh’s opening try in their 38-13 defeat to Leicester at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

And looking ahead to tonight’s clash with Premiership champions Harlequins at The Stoop (7.45), Arscott feels the Exiles are in reasonable shape.

“We just need to keep building on the performance against Leicester and we are not a million miles away,” he said.

“Obviously there were times when we let them score too often, but then there were times when we kept them out for long periods.

“So it is all about lengthening those long periods and shortening up at the other end and then it will all come together.”

Arscott keep his place in a backline that sees new signing Tyson Keats replacing Jonah Holmes at scrum half.

Wing Joe Ajuwa will be looking to build on a combative Premiership debut against Leicester.

Matt Corker replaces Russian international Kirill Kulemin at lock, with Mike Denbee coming in for Lee Beach at openside flanker.

Ed Jackson comes in at No 8, with Daniel Browns moving to blindside in place of Ed Williamson.

Reflecting on his try, Arscott added: “It is always nice to get across the whitewash, especially on my debut and for the first Aviva Premiership try for London Welsh.

“But in truth I just happened to be on the end of a really good team move.”

Harlequins start with England internationals Mike Brown, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ugo Monye and Joe Marler, plus captain Chris Robshaw.

Two other England men, Nick Easter and Danny Care, are on the bench.

London Welsh: Arscott, Mackenzie, Parker, Tonga’uiha, Ajuwa, Ross, Keats, Montanella, Briggs, Ion, Mills (capt), Corker, Browne, Denbee, Jackson. Reps: George, Bristow, Joly, Kulemin, To’oala, Runciman, Jewell, Scott.

Harlequins: Brown, Williams, Lowe, Turner-Hall, Monye, Evans, Dickson, Marler, Gray, Johnston, Kohn, Robson, Fa’asavalu, Robshaw (capt), Guest. Reps: Buchanan, Marfo, Sinckler, Matthews, Easter, Care, Botica, Hopper.

Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby – one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7 million people live at the grounds and many more through our broadcast partners Sky, ITV and ESPN – visit www.premier-shiprugby.com

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