LONDON Irish assistant coach Declan Danaher paid tribute to homegrown star Ollie Hassell-Collins after the youngster scored four tries in his side's 24-20 Gallagher Premiership win against Gloucester on Saturday.

The 21-year-old wing took his tally to seven in eight games to become the joint-top try-scorer in the top flight, and Danaher believes it is no less than he deserves.

He commented: "It’s been coming for a while and he deserves it because he’s worked incredibly hard.

"He’s a credit to the club and to his family and it’s just rewards to get the four tries. But he knows it’s always onto that next job and there’s always something to get better at."

Reflecting on a memorable day at Madejski Stadium, Hassell-Collins added: "I’m over the moon. A few of them were gifts and I’ve got to give credit to the boys who set them up for me. The work was done on the inside and it was just my job to finish them.

"It’s nice to see ourselves up the table, but we’ll keep taking it one game at a time. I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me the chances and hopefully I can keep playing and taking them. I want to keep improving.

Former Newbury youngster Hassell-Collins is one of a number of highly exciting young Exiles backs, with the likes of Ben Loader, Matt Williams and Tom Parton also impressing this season.

And Danaher said: "They’re coming on and they’re a really good bunch to work with. They work hard every day and they’re incredibly grounded. "They do extra work and when they could say ‘I’ll have a day off’, these boys know how hard they’ve got to work to get to where they want to."

Next up for Irish is a home game against Wasps on Sunday (3pm), and Danaher concluded: "We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves, but it’s all about us and what we can do.

"If we put the effort in week in week out, especially in training, which the players have done, then we can get the results."