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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:35 UK

Catt to enjoy Twickenham finale

Mike Catt
Mike Catt is player-coach at London Irish, working alongside Toby Booth

Mike Catt has told his London Irish team-mates to try and enjoy Saturday's Premiership final against Leicester.

The veteran fly-half, now assisting Toby Booth as player-coach with Irish, says that his advice is simple.

"I've had a career spanning 16 years," he told BBC Berkshire. "I've been in a couple of World Cup finals and you need to make sure you take your opportunity.

"But it's absolutely enjoying that moment as well. The guys will learn so much from being at Twickenham."

Catt added that despite having played on the big stage before, the excitement is undiminished for him.

"It's one of those things you dream about," he said. "The difference is 16 years ago I couldn't believe we'd got there.

"Now I expect us to be there because of all the hard work we've put in and the players we've got.

"I'm excited and who knows what'll happen. Sport's a funny thing."

Catt was part of the London Irish team that last reached the play-offs in 2006, losing to Leicester at Welford Road. But he admits that they are now a very different team.

"We've three years more experience," he said. "We probably have better players, that have had the big games and understand the game a bit more.

"Maybe three years ago we were a little bit arrogant and expected it just to happen, whereas this year we know exactly how hard it is to win a game of rugby, let alone against Leicester."

And Catt says that after some indifferent form after Christmas, the Exiles were close to being back to their best.

"There are going to be times when you have a little bit of a slump, but we rode through that," the former England international said.

"The guys are rejuvenated and, as you saw at the weekend, the passion's there, the emotion's there.

"This London Irish team is a very emotional side - that's what Boothy brings to the team - so if we can keep our heads and keep the fire in our bellies, we can compete with the top teams."

The last remaining tickets for the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham have now gone on general sale. Approximately 500 East and West Stand tickets are available.

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