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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

Geraghty not yet back to his best

Shane Geraghty
Shane Geraghty, who made his debut in 2007, has won two England caps

London Irish star Shane Geraghty admits he is still some way off his best after his return from an ankle problem.

The 22-year-old utility back has slipped down the England pecking order after a succession of injuries.

And Geraghty told BBC Berkshire that he is yet to recapture the form that earned his international debut in 2007.

"I'd say I'm probably at about 60% of where I want to be. Thatís everything, in terms of fitness levels, my kicking and my tackling," he said.

"I still think there is a lot more to come."

Geraghty was originally selected in England's Elite Player Squad ahead of the Autumn Internationals, but was one of eight players jettisoned in October.

"I spoke to the coaches and understood their views for not picking me and that's fair enough," he said.

"All I can do now is play well in the games leading up to Christmas and put myself in the best possible form for the Six Nations."

While England have struggled, Geraghty has seen Nick Kennedy and Delon Armitage turn in eye-catching performances - and he is pleased for his club team-mates.

"It's great to see 'Kendo' and Delon involved," he said. "Delon's probably been one of the stand-out performers and it's great to see him playing well. And Kennedy deserves his chance to be back in again.

All I can do now is play well in the games leading up to Christmas and put myself in the best possible form for the Six Nations
Shane Geraghty

London Irish visit Bristol on Sunday, with Geraghty moving from centre to fly-half to accommodate Seilala Mapusua, who returns from international duty.

The West Country club are rooted to the foot of the Premiership table, but Geraghty insists that the high-flying Exiles, currently second, will not underestimate their opponents.

"Bristol are a difficult team to play," he said. "We found that out last year when we went down there.

"They started really well and were up after 20 minutes and. if you're chasing the game down there, the kind of crowd they have they get on your backs. It's a difficult place to go and win.

"We're going there confident but having lost there previously we won't take it for granted."

Bristol v London Irish, Sunday 30 November (kick-off 1500 GMT). Full coverage live on bbc.co.uk/berkshire.

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see also
Geraghty hopes for England return
24 Oct 08 |  London Irish
Geraghty stunned by England call
04 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union


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