Brian Smith: London Irish boss positive despite Homer injury

Brian Smith
Brian Smith returned to London Irish in March 2012

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith says he is confident his squad can cope with the loss of full-back Tom Homer to injury.

The number 15 will miss at least the next eight weeks with a knee strain after a collision during the Exiles' defeat by Harlequins on Saturday.

But Smith says there is plenty of talent vying for a place in the backs.

"One player's injury is an opportunity for someone else," Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"We've got some very talented back-three players and they are knocking on my door every week asking when they are going to be selected.

"One of those boys will have some good news and as a club we will rally around Tom. The medical team and players will get behind him and we'll get him back as soon as possible."

Smith says one of Andy Fenby, Alex Lewington or Topsy Ojo could play at full-back, adding: "They have played a lot of rugby at 15 so we have it covered."

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Newcastle are a tough side. The scoreline last week flattered the Tigers and they will be an absolute handful."

Meanwhile, Smith has praised the performance of his new signing James Short, calling him a "genuine talent".

The winger joined the Exiles as a replacement for England star Marland Yarde, who joined Harlequins during the summer, and the two played against each other during their opening match of the season on Saturday.

"James is the form winger from pre-season for us and did a very good job on Marland," said Smith. "Marland was desperate to play well against his old club and James managed to keep him quiet. He's a genuine talent and is doing a good job."

London Irish, beaten 20-15 in their season opener, are next in action on Sunday at Newcastle, who lost 36-17 to Leicester in their first game.

But Smith believes the Falcons will be tough opponents, adding: "Newcastle have recruited very well. They are a tough side. The scoreline last week flattered the Tigers and they will be an absolute handful."

Top Stories