10:00AM, Sunday 31 August 2014
Harlequins RFC was part of Tom Guest’s life for 12 years, but now he is an Exile, writes Graeme Copas.
The Taplow-born, former Maidenhead RFC colt signed a two-year deal with London Irish at the end of last season, but there is no getting away from his past as his Premier- ship season kicks off against his old club in the London Double Header at Twicken-ham on Saturday, September 6.
Guest is insistent that the past is the past, and his focus is now on winning games of rugby with London Irish.
“It’s a dream game, starting the season against Quins,” said Guest.
“I have some great memories from 12 years at Quins, but that’s all they are now, memories.
“I was lucky to be able to make the choice to come here and now it’s all about London Irish.”
Guest joins a club which has assembled a new-look squad based at the club’s new hi-tech headquarters in Hazel- wood, Spelthorne.
Flanker Guest is keen to focus on the challenges ahead.
“One of the reasons I came to London Irish was because of the chance for a massive mental refreshment.
“There were a few jitters early on, but it’s a great set-up here and everything is in place for the players to do well.
“Now it’s up to us to achieve. There’s no excuses.
“I made the decision to join Irish a long time ago now, so I’ve had plenty of time to adjust to it.”
He added: “The new owners have provided a great set- up and with all the coaching and medical staff, it really is excellent.”
The 30-year-old played at No.8 in the Exiles’ 27-26 victory over Championship side Bristol in the first match played at the Hazelwood site.
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