Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Must Start to Win or Jobs Are on the Line; as London Welsh Continue to Seek a First Win, Seb Stegmann Issues a Stark Warning

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Must Start to Win or Jobs Are on the Line; as London Welsh Continue to Seek a First Win, Seb Stegmann Issues a Stark Warning

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

SEB STEGMANN has admitted that winless London Welsh have to turn their season around or face the real danger of job cuts.

Relegation to the Championship will force the club to cut its playing budget and they head to Newcastle on Sunday on the back of 12 successive Premiership defeats.

Welsh's opponents were also expected to struggle this season, but the Kingston Park side have amassed 16 points compared to the Exiles' solitary one. London Irish, a place above Welsh in 11th place, are also on 16 points, which makes the Oxford-based club's cause seemingly hopeless.

Coach Justin Burnell's side started the New Year with a much-improved showing against Harlequins, but the west London club eventually used their back line power to register a 24-13 victory at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

Stegmann, who joined Welsh from Harlequins two years ago, said: "We have been very honest with each other. It's about our livelihoods and it's now or never. This is a business and unless we start to perform things will only become more depressing. There was a lot more frustration than normal at training this week because, although we haven't really performed in matches this season, we did create chances against Quins and could have grabbed a first win of the season.

"We played much better rugby. We are growing as a team every week and the defence has improved. We are all getting used to the defensive pattern that has been instigated now and, hopefully, we can produce our attacking play against Newcastle. "This next match is one we targeted, although Newcastle have shown they are a better team than maybe people believed and have given young guys a chance. They now play on an artificial pitch, so we have been practising on that surface in preparation for Sunday's match. It should be an expansive game. …

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