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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011

London Irish eyeing top four - Richard Thorpe

Richard Thorpe
Thorpe is a product of the London Irish academy

London Irish flanker Richard Thorpe says that the Exiles are still optimistic about claiming a place in the Premiership final.

Irish, who have lost seven of their last eight league games, currently lie seventh in the top flight, three points off the play-off places.

"Our ultimate goal is still the top four. We want to be in the Premiership final," Thorpe, 26, told BBC Berkshire.

Irish meet Harlequins at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

"We must be whiter than white and throw everything at Quins on Saturday," added Thorpe.

The sides last met at Twickenham in December, with Quins claiming a 28-18 win.

"Twickenham was very frustrating," said Thorpe. "It has been a very frustrating part of the season for us but we have to write off what we've been doing so far.

"We need to put things in our own favour and make sure we get training right.

"Training this week has been fantastic and we've been doing everything we can to lead us to a win at the weekend."

The former Saracens man has made 13 starts and seven appearances as a replacement since returning from a dislocated elbow in November.

"I've been on the bench the past few weeks and it's great to come on with loads of enthusiasm and lift the team and generate some momentum," Thorpe continued.

"It's about adding impact and impetus once you get your chance on the pitch, and to try and bring energy into that last 20-30 minutes when you do get your opportunity."

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