FREE from any fear of relegation from the Gallagher Premiership, London Irish staged a wonderful late comeback to stun Northampton Saints and record just a second win in 15 years at Franklin's Gardens.

Skipper Franco van der Merwe and the outstanding Dave Porecki both crossed in the last six minutes to give Declan Kidney's side the perfect send-off to a two-week break, ending a seven-match losing run in some style.

With Saracens guaranteed to finish bottom after having a further 70 points knocked off their tally, Exiles can enjoy the rest of the season and maybe even look towards a top-six finish.

Rams bounced back to winning ways in National One and stayed just three points adrift of leaders Richmond with a six-try bonus-point success at Hull Ionians.

Seb Reynolds' side are back up to second after Rosslyn Park slipped up at Plymouth Albion, and with 10 games to go, they're all set for a dramatic climax to the season – starting at home to Blackheath on Saturday.

There was no league action below the National levels, but my boys Reading were sadly knocked out of the Southern Counties Intermediate Cup with a defeat at Swindon.

We put a much-changed side out – coach Ben Wills was even on the bench – but we battled gamely and most importantly kept most of the squad injury-free.

We'll hope to extend our eight-match winning run in Southern Counties North at Wallingford on Saturday, while Reading Abbey are back in action at Stow-on-the-Wold.

Berkshire Shire Hall – who are also on a cracking 10-match unbeaten run in Berks, Bucks & Oxon Two South – visit Thatcham 2nds.

Away from the club scene, the Six Nations return and this year's edition looks even more fascinating than usual.

World Cup runners-up England start at a much-changed French team – there are 19 uncapped players in their squad – and that game has the potential to shape the course of the competition.

Ireland and Wales are both under new leadership following the departures of Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland, while Scotland have endured a blow even before the event starts with talismanic fly-half Finn Russell missing their trip to Dublin this weekend after a disagreement with coach Gregor Townsend.