Irish not expecting mass departures

Date published: April 13 2016

London Irish boss Tom Coventry has admitted that some players within his squad have relegation clauses in their contracts ahead of facing Newcastle.

Irish travel to Kingston Park for Sunday's must-win clash knowing that a victory is absolutely essential for their hopes to avoid the drop.

The Exiles trail Newcastle by four points going into the weekend and some of their leading internationals such as Scotland's Sean Maitland and Blair Cowan may look to further their careers elsewhere if relegation does happen.

"There are players here who have contracts that enable them to exit if they wish and I'm confident that guys have bought into this club and what we're trying to achieve here," Coventry told PA Sport.

"But we also know the internationals will have to consider their careers because I'm not sure how many international players are picked out of the Championship.

"As a general rule, I'd like to think these guys are in it for the long haul and will fight their way through the good and the bad times.

"It's a huge game, there's no downplaying that and the boys are well aware of it.

"We know what the consequences of going down are, but we can't talk about them too much – dwelling on it doesn't help you go forward.

"There's no magic formula for a big match like Sunday – you need to take your big opportunities better than the opposition."

Speaking about the potential decision, Cowan admitted that playing in the Championship would hinder his chances of playing internationally.

"I'm taking one week at a time and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," Cowan said.

"I still have international aspirations, so I need to be at the top of my game and in the top competition to be considered for that.

"But I can't focus too much about that if I want to put in a performance this weekend. What comes after is in the hands of the gods."