RUGBY UNION: Purdy eyes Italian job

Martin Purdy is put under pressure in London Welsh’s 68-19 to Stade Francais at the Kassam Stadium

Martin Purdy is put under pressure in London Welsh’s 68-19 to Stade Francais at the Kassam Stadium

First published in Sport Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

EXPERIENCED lock Martin Purdy returns to Italy with London Welsh today determined he and his teammates can make an impact.

Purdy, who won the Heineken Cup with Wasps in 2004, played for Italian sides Gran Parma and L’Aquila between 2008 and 2010.

The 30-year-old starts in the second row against Cavalieri Prato, having come off the bench in last week’s 68-19 defeat to Stade Francais.

“It is nice to go back to Italy where I played for two years,” said Purdy.

“Like many Italian sides they have got a couple of exciting individuals.

“It is a generalisation, but they tend to be a little bit selfish and go by themselves.

“If we mark those guys well, we should be able to close them down.

“But it is more about us this week and about righting the wrongs from last week.

“The guys, like me who are coming in, can play a big role in that.”

Purdy added: “We need to make sure we don’t concede 60 points again,” said Purdy. “It was a bit of a shambles last week.

“The game with Stade was more of an attitude thing rather than anything particularly technical.

“This week is about making sure we put our bodies on the line and being committed and accurate.

“We are not a team of superstars, but a team who work hard and support each other.

“When you don’t do that, you can look a little bit silly.

“Premiership sides are just as good as Stade Francais and we’ve been doing against them.”

Cavalieri Prato are based in Tuscany and were formed in 2000 after the merger of three local clubs.

They gained promotion to Italy’s top flight, the Classifica Eccellenza, in 2009, finishing fifth in their first season.

Prato beat Connacht 23-21 in their opening European Challenge Cup match in October 2010, but lost 59-3 to Grenoble in their first match of this campaign.

They have started their domestic season well and sit top on 15 points after three matches.

Prop Guillermo Roan joined Prato this summer after making 14 appearances for Welsh last season and starts at tight-head today.

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