With the 2015 World Cup a matter of months away, there is still a full domestic season to take place and London Welsh, after promotion, are struggling on their return to the Aviva Premiership.
Can London Welsh survive?
The 2015 World Cup is less than a year away and New Zealand are favourites to retain the trophy they won last time out while Gambling Africa (sports book and online casino) and many others rate the chances of other teams including South Africa, Australia and England.
Before it begins however, there is plenty of domestic rugby to enjoy in London and the rest of the country. London Welsh are back in the Aviva Premiership after promotion last season but have started the new campaign badly. Can they survive in the top league?
Welsh, now based in Oxford, won the RFU Championship play-off, beating Bristol Rugby 48-28 on aggregate, but are finding the step up to the Premiership a steep one. They have lost all five league games so far, scoring just 44 points but conceding 249.
Beaten by Quins
Their latest game was a 52-0 thrashing by Harlequins and was the same scoreline as the first game of the season when they were beaten by Exeter Chiefs. So, how can they turn their fortunes around so dramatically to be able to compete against the best sides in the country?
They have conceded at least 46 points every time they have played so far this season and now have a points difference of -205, so it is hard to see how they can change the losing habit.
London Welsh Coach Justin Burnell says that hard work is the key and that can be the trigger for a change in fortunes for the team.
Next week may be an indication as to what the rest of the season has in store for the team. They face Newcastle who are just a place above the Exiles but in much better spirits. The Falcons will go into the game in a good frame of mind after ending a 20-game losing streak to secure their first Aviva Premiership win of the season, a surprise 29-24 victory over Exeter.
Battle of bottom two
So, though it is a battle between the bottom two, London Welsh need a victory to gain some momentum as well as to avoid being stranded at the bottom of the table.
One mitigating factor for Burnell and his team is that time is needed to get them working well together. An incredible total of 25 new signings were made in preparation for the new campaign and that was probably always going to take time to assess what the best team would be.
Strong enough squad
However, with the likes of Piri Weepu, a former All Blacks scrum-half, Olly Barkley, Lachlan McCaffrey and Pablo Henn in the squad, if they can get a victory against Newcastle, it could be the springboard they need for a drastic improvement.
Photo: Courtesy of Daily Mail.