London Irish ready for 'monumental' Stade Francais test

London Irish fans

London Irish coach Glenn Delaney says the visit of Stade Francais in the Challenge Cup will be the sternest test the Exiles pack will face this season.

The forwards have struggled in recent weeks, leading director of rugby Brian Smith to call on the services of scrum 'doctor' Phil Keith-Roach.

"They are probably the best scrummaging team in France," Delaney told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"This is a monumental test. It will be a massive day for our forwards."

He added: "It will be the toughest scrummaging test we have all season. They pride themselves on that and we have to be ready."

Smith hopes the introduction of Keith-Roach, who was the scrum coach to the England 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side, will help reduce the penalty count conceded by their scrum, and Delaney also welcomes his arrival.

"Phil is a fantastic resource and has a wealth of experience," he said. "You can lean on people from the outside to help point you in the right direction but fundamentally what we are doing is very sound and Phil is confirming that.

"All we can do is give our front row players all the resources and help they need. We are all learning and taking it on the chin."

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