Press Notes: London Irish

11 August 2020

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper faced the press this afternoon ahead of Saturday's Round 14 Gallagher Premiership match against London Irish at the Rec.

On pre-season feel ahead of restart

“There are some things are very common to what we normally feel come the back end of pre-season, the sun is shining, you’ve got a fit squad that is ready to go but on the flip side there are so many things that are different.

“We’ve talked a lot about the expectations we have on each other because we are now heading into a season where we start our games off the back of the biggest break the lads have ever had in their careers. We are going back into live Premiership Rugby. We have to react daily; we have to react on who we have available to train and make sure that we are on top of the protocols."

On playing behind closed doors

“I would be lying if I said it won’t impact the players, they love playing in front of our supporters, particularly at home but also in those away atmospheres that are part of the matchday. As professional sportsmen they thrive on that attention and that buzz so yes, we have spoken about it and worked on what it will be like without that stimulus from the outside.

"We have spoken about working from within and we did that with a hit out at the Rec last Thursday to experience what a home atmosphere is like without the supporters being there that come every week."

On game schedule

“We know we are going to be playing a lot of rugby so we have to manage everybody’s loads throughout games and training so that we can get the best team on the field so that we can win games and we need to win games so that we can go to the final on the 24th October.”

On Joe Cokanasiga

“There is definitely a chance that he will feature. He is up and doing well in training. We have seen him out there today. We are doing everything to get Joe back fit and ready. We all know what a powerful athlete he is and what an asset he is to Bath and to England. He’s not far away."

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