Toby Booth buoyed by London Irish youngsters

Toby Booth
Booth's side have won two and lost three of their opening five games

London Irish coach Toby Booth believes English rugby is in rude health after watching his young side narrowly beaten by Gloucester at the weekend.

Irish included Alex Grey, Tom Homer, Jonathan Joseph, Guy Armitage, Jamie Gibson and Adam Thompstone who are all 21 or under in the 33-30 defeat.

Gloucester too played several of their young English contingent on Saturday.

"Utilising these talents now will be important going forward," Booth told BBC Radio Berkshire.

The Exiles have been without Joe Ansbro (Scotland), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa), Jebb Sinclair (Canada) and Paulica Ion (Romania) because of World Cup commitments, forcing Booth and other Premiership clubs to give youth a chance.

And Booth feels the game time experienced by his young players this season will stand English rugby well in the future.

"As long as we keep realistic of what their experiences is in the context of how we've exposed them then yes I agree the health of English rugby looks good," he added.

The Exiles have now won two and lost three of their opening five games but Booth is still pleased with their start to the new season as the prepare to play Worcester Warriors at the weekend.

"If you would have told me first five games, we would have three defeats and two wins with four bonus points I would have taken that.

"It will be a huge boost when the World Cup players return and will provide a huge boost of adrenaline but that is why we recruit the way we do," he concluded.

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