Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Old friends and acquaintances set to meet with Irish visit

On Saturday Ealing Trailfinders take on Greene King IPA Championship leaders London Irish at Vallis Way and there will be a number of players and staff from both sides who have been involved with the other.

Director of Rugby Ben Ward started off his playing days in the junior ranks in Sunbury and along with skills coach Paddy Gill helped the U19 Academy team with a league and cup double in 2002.

Former Ealing Trailfinders second-row Gary Johnston was also in that team along with former England internationals Delon Armitage, Topsy Ojo and David Paice. 

Paice is still playing and is on the Exiles’ coaching staff, along with George Skivington. Before then they cut their teeth as forwards’ coaches at Vallis Way for two years and were on the coaching team when the team won the 2014-15 National 1 title. 

Centre Luke Peters began his career in the Exiles Academy and played for the A-team alongside England wing Anthony Watson and current Irish first-teamer and former Ealing Trailfinders loanee Tom Smallbone. 

“I enjoyed it there and played with some good players,” Peters said. “I learned a lot during my time at Irish, all of which has helped me as my rugby career has developed.

Hooker Matt Cornish played for the Exile’s amateur side Wild Geese in National Three South and won England Counties caps during his time at the club.