LONDON Irish head coach Les Kiss is looking forward to a 'massive opportunity' as his side bid to reach the RFU Championship Cup final on Sunday, writes Richard Ashton.

Exiles remain on track for a league-and-cup double ahead of the semi-final visit of Yorkshire Carnegie to Madejski Stadium, and Kiss hopes his players can rise to the challenge against a side who have improved dramatically since they were hammered 72-5 by Irish earlier in the season.

He told the Chronicle: "It's a massive opportunity for the club and a lot of players who haven't maybe been in that situation. It's a great chance for them to step up.

"Yorkshire have improved out of sight since Christmas. They'll be a different proposition to when we played them earlier in the year and we've got to keep our head about that.

"They bought wisely, they're playing a strong brand of rugby and they're not only abrasive, but they can score tries as well.

"We've got to be wary of that, but it would be nice to do the job and have a final to look forward to."

Exiles stayed nine points clear at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship with a 52-22 home victory against Coventry last Saturday, but second-placed Ealing Trailfinders kept their promotion dreams alive with an impressive 28-8 success at Cornish Pirates.

And Kiss expects the race for a Gallagher Premiership slot to go deep into the season.

He admitted: "The fact Ealing haven't cracked is testament to what it means to them and we don't expect them to.

"We expect ourselves to keep a tough eye on the job in front of us and not lose sight and get hi-jacked by 'what ifs', it's just about the pragmatics of what's in front of "us. That's what we're attempting to do on a daily basis.

They'll be excitement if they drop a game, but I think this is a back-end season and it's going to go down to the last three games. That's what we're prepared for."