LONDON Irish head coach Les Kiss his side can make a solid start to their return to the Gallagher Premiership, but insists their campaign will not be defined by doing so.

Exiles won the Greene King IPA Championship to return to the top flight, and they will begin their efforts with a trip to Wasps on October 20.

But Kiss declared: “It is important to start the season as well as you can, but it doesn’t define the season.

“There were great lessons from the last Premiership season. You look at a team like Northampton Saints who struggled to get out of the blocks early, but came home like a house on fire.

“You just have to keep working away and believe what you are about. A good start helps, but it doesn’t define your season.”

One of the biggest issues facing Kiss and director of rugby, Declan Kidney, is how to integrate the host of big-name signings who will join the club as their efforts in the World Cup end.

Australian quartet Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona have all signed on, along with New Zealander Waisake Naholo and Scottish prop Allan Dell.

And Kiss admitted: “I guess the most important thing is the group which got us up, and most of that group is with us now, will start the season for us and the way that the signings have happened means it will be a slow integration with players coming in, either through design or through the World Cup.

“Integrating close to 10 different nationalities means we will have to work hard together to build a place that the players want to be part of, so hopefully that environment is there and set to challenge the remaining players when they come in.

“They are all here to play rugby, but rugby is as good as your life is around you and we want to make sure people enjoy it as well.”

And with the World Cup meaning a different schedule for the domestic season, only six Premiership games will be before Christmas, with Kiss adding: “It is February before we are at round nine, so it is a really stacked back season. "It’s going to be interesting to try and work out where you sit in the whole hierarchy of the competition, it’s going to be Christmas time and you’ll still be scratching you head as to where you stand.”