Making the leap from the RFU Championship to the Aviva Premiership is hard, as you have to recruit new players and manage staff to see who can cut it at the top level. London Welsh, however, may just pull off survival this season.

Considering they have been away from the Premiership for just one year, Justin Burnell's men haven't been reluctant to bring new players into the club this summer.


At this level, you need experienced players as you can't always rely on the youth prospects to carry you through. So far, Burnell has completed some good moves.

Argentinian prop Pablo Henn, All Black star Piri Weepu and most recently Tongan prop Eddie Aholelei have all joined London Welsh and could help make the difference between the club finishing 11th or 12th.

But will this be enough? Experience is welcomed and the positives that come from this can change the course of a game, but there is more needed as this yo-yo club need to build stability for the future.


In the 2013 season, the Dragons suffered relegation from the Aviva Premiership having just been promoted.

London Welsh recorded five wins from their 22 games, a wake-up call having only received one point in try bonuses. They finished ten points behind Worcester Warriors, the team relegated the following season.

They didn't feel sorry for themselves, however, finishing second place behind Bristol Rugby in the Championship, before going on to beat Leeds Carnegie and then Bristol in the play-off final over two legs to gain promotion.

Now back in top league, things may change in favour of the Welsh boys based in the heart of London, as there are other teams who could be in contention for the drop.

Teams in contention

Newcastle Falcons may have a luxurious new pitch but having finished second from bottom last season, they are in the frame for the drop. Those top and improved facilities, may just keep them safe though.

London Irish are another side keeping an eye over their shoulder, as the departures of James O'Connor - who scored 100 points last season - and Marland Yarde will play a massive part in their 2014/15 campaign.

London Welsh's first game of the new season will be against Exeter Chiefs, a keenly-anticipated game for the newcomers. There is no reason why they couldn't pull off a win.

All this London Welsh side need to make sure of is that fatigue doesn't become an issue, along with the international campaign. The last thing this team needs is for a side to slay the dragon early.

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