Kirwan has learnt from Aviva Premiership experience

Carl Kirwan admits he has learnt a lot from his Aviva Premiership experience after a tough season in the top-flight with London Welsh.

The flanker was pinpointed by Dean Ryan as an ideal addition to his rapidly-progressing squad, despite the fact he was part of a side which was relegated from the Premiership without winning a game.

And Kirwan admits his year of Premiership Rugby will stand him in good stead.

He said: “It wasn’t a great season for me because the team struggled and I had a few injuries. But it’s made me more hungry to be successful now I’ve been given an opportunity to stay in the Premiership with Warriors.

“All experience in the top-flight is beneficial because you’re constantly problem-solving. And you realise the speed of the game and how different it is to the Championship.”

After signing Kirwan, Warriors boss Ryan had spoken of the player’s leadership strengths.

Kirwan captained London Welsh on a number of occasions and the flanker admits he always tries to lead by example on the pitch.

He continued: “On the pitch I try to be as much of a leader as I can and that’s a common theme in the back-row. 

“It’s about working hard. People follow people who work hard and at the moment I’m focused on getting my head down and grafting.”

With the Rugby World Cup delaying the start of the Aviva Premiership season, Kirwan and his new teammates will have longer than usual to prepare for the campaign.

And the 24-year-old insists the extra time together will be beneficial for his side.

He added: “The delay to the start of the season gives us a lot more time for the team to gel so we can become even more of a tight-knit group and that will work in our favour.

“What the boys have built over the last season or so has been unbelievable and I can’t wait to be part of that.”