London Welsh fly-half Gordon Ross wants European rugby to give the club’s fringe members the chance to give head coach Lyn Jones a Christmas selection headache.
The 20-9 defeat to Grenoble on Friday night made progression in the Amlin Challenge Cup trickier for the Exiles, who have just one win from their three ties.
Aviva Premiership survival remains the priority for the injury-ravaged Exiles, but Ross insists a good showing in the return clash with the Frenchmen at the Kassam stadium on Saturday can galvanise them.
“The Amlin Challenge Cup gives a lot of guys that maybe haven’t had a lot of rugby in the Premiership a chance to show what they can do and hopefully give the coach selection problems,” said the veteran 34-year-old.
“Every time we put on the London Welsh jersey we have a lot of pride doing so, and we need to make sure we give it our best effort and keep improving as a team.
“It’s also a chance to put the club out there. The competition is a massive platform in Europe and gives a lot of our fans a chance to travel and get rewarded for being loyal to us.
“Hopefully, it won’t be as cold as Friday night last week but they are a standard French side, very physical and very dangerous with turnover ball.
“They have a lot of loose runners out there and we need to try to contain them.”
And Ross, capped 25 times for Scotland, believes a win will only help gain some confidence ahead of a crunch Premiership trip to Worcester Warriors on December 21.
“With us not knowing that much about them we can really concentrate on ourselves and try to work on our attack and hopefully that can pay off,” said the Scottish half-back.
“If we can go out and put a good performance in it will give our team and squad a huge boost going up to Worcester.”
* Gordon Ross was speaking at the launch of the Aviva Drive app, allowing you to get an individual car insurance quote based on how you drive. Download at aviva.co.uk/drive.