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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:53 UK

London Irish lost their fight last year - Booth

Toby Booth
Booth guided London Irish to the Premiership final in 2009

London Irish coach Toby Booth believes his side's lack of enthusiasm last season cost them dearly.

The Exiles were top of the Premiership last Christmas before falling off the pace dramatically and finishing the campaign in sixth place.

Booth is sure a much younger squad will provide the hunger that was lacking.

"Last year they weren't up for it. A lot of people were chewing up a lot of time for the wrong reasons," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"Our squad is young, but what you get with youth is a massive amount of enthusiasm, and that's what drives everyone forward."

Booth believes his squad will benefit from the restructuring that has been undertaken this summer, particularly following the departures of some less-interested players.

"I've lost a lot of the energy-sapping element of the team, so we've got a much more harmonious group of players who are committed and ambitious to achieve things for the club and for themselves."

London Irish begin their Premiership season against Harlequins in the Twickenham double-header and Booth is positive his team can negotiate the first stage of the season with a relatively inexperienced squad.

"The team reminds me of an academy side, and our job is to try to fast-track as much experience into them as possible."

"The challenge will be to see if we can still remain exceptionally competitive, especially in the early part with the World Cup when a lot of our experience is absent.

"It's an exciting time and I'm looking forward to the challenge and i know the players are too," he added.

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see also
London Irish sign Falcons' Gray
09 Aug 11 |  London Irish
Exiles back Bowden ponders future
02 Aug 11 |  London Irish
London Irish net flanker Sinclair
27 Jul 11 |  London Irish
Booth in no panic over departures
19 Jul 11 |  London Irish
London Irish sign fly-half Jarvis
07 Jul 11 |  London Irish
Exiles bring in forward Siggery
15 Jun 11 |  London Irish
Exiles reward academy youngsters
01 Jun 11 |  London Irish
London Irish sign All Black Evans
24 May 11 |  London Irish
Thorpe signs new Irish contract
17 May 11 |  London Irish
Steffon Armitage to join Toulon
13 May 11 |  London Irish
Stowers leaves Irish for Ospreys
24 Mar 11 |  Ospreys

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