Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Mills relishing 'eight-point' encounter

Jonathan Mills believes London Welsh are starting to adapt to life in the Aviva Premiership

London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills has no doubt about the importance of Friday night's Aviva Premiership clash against Sale.

Mills and company head to Salford City Stadium on the back of a thrilling victory over Exeter four days ago, which was their first win of the season following defeats to Leicester and Harlequins.

"It is teams around us that we've got to be beating. If we can win five or six of those 'eight-point' games, we might be all right at the end of the season," Mills said.

The victory over Exeter took Welsh above Sale, Worcester and London Irish and served notice that they might not deserve the tag of red-hot relegation favourites pinned on them by most pundits.

"It was quite funny how people had already written us off after our first two games, but we were playing two of the best sides in the league," Mills added.

One area Welsh must improve, though, is their tendency for slow starts and conceding early points, as illustrated by an initial 14-point deficit against Exeter.

Mills said: "We can't be giving sides 14 points, especially when we are on their line and they go the length of the field. If we take that away, then hopefully we can get some comfortable wins rather than last-minute ones."

Mills has recovered from a facial injury sustained against Exeter to lead a team that shows one enforced change from that game, with flanker Michael Hills replacing an injured Mike Denbee.

Meanwhile, Sale welcome back Wales international Andy Powell to their starting XV and flanker Mark Easter also features in a side skippered by David Seymour.

"We haven't gone for wholesale changes because we believe that these players need to rectify some of the issues from the Quins game last weekend," Sale head coach Bryan Redpath said. "It's been disappointing to lose three games, but we need to make sure that we don't over-analyse or panic."

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