LONDON Irish director of Rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to facing Harlequins at Twickenham tomorrow (Saturday) as the Aviva Premiership returns with the London Double Header.

It is only four months since Exiles sealed promotion back to the top flight, but having bolstered the squad with 11 new signings, Kennedy said pre-season had gone to plan.

He commented: “We’ve had three good pre-season games, not to mention a good six or seven weeks training where the boys have been superb.

“We’ve been working extremely hard trying to develop our game from last year as well as cementing all of the good things that we’ve put in place in the last year so we’re really excited to take on Quins at Twickenham. It doesn’t get any bigger really and we all can’t wait.

“It’s going to be a good week. There’ll be a real energy about us this week, a real excitement and anticipation for the game, and we’ll arrive at Twickenham raring to go.”

Second row Sebastian De Chaves added: “As a player you always want to play on the biggest stage and Twickenham doesn’t get any bigger in the world of rugby.

“I’ve seen the London Double Header on TV and I thought it looked awesome, so I’m thrilled to be involved in such an iconic occasion.

“We laid down some really good foundations in the Championship last season and we’ve had a great pre-season this year, so it’s all been building towards this moment.

“What a way to start the season at the home of English rugby.”

London Irish take on Harlequins at 4.45pm, following the game between Saracens and Northampton Saints (2pm).