London Irish: Blair Cowan wants to reward club's faith with Premiership return

London Irish back row Blair Cowan
Blair Cowan is one of four London Irish players named in the Championship team of the year

Blair Cowan says an immediate return to the Premiership for London Irish would repay the faith shown by the club's board and supporters to the players.

Irish travel to Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship final first leg on Wednesday as they bid for promotion.

Scotland back row Cowan, 31, knows how important a return to top-flight rugby will be for the Exiles.

"For what we've got on the line and for a lot of us who really cherish this club, it means a lot to us," he said.

"We've put this in the top ranks of important games for us," Cowan told BBC Sport. "This club has given so much to me and it's my goal to make promotion realistic.

"The board have put so much faith in us as players and we want to do a job for them and the supporters."

Cowan was one of four Irish players named in the Championship team of the year and believes the experience in their squad will prove vital over two legs in the winner-takes-all final.

"We're really lucky to have a lot of boys in this squad who've experienced finals rugby," he said. "That's been a big help and we're prepared for it."

Irish, who secured top spot in the Championship by mid-March, face a Yorkshire side who finished second and hope to give head coach Bryan Redpath the perfect send-off before his departure in the summer.

The first leg at Headingley will be followed by the return leg at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday, 24 May.

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