Skipper is confident the future is Bright for London Scottish

Action man: Mark Bright takes on the Plymouth Albion defence last season             SP82868

Action man: Mark Bright takes on the Plymouth Albion defence last season SP82868

First published in Sport Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

After enjoying the elation of representing England at the Commonwealth Games, Mark Bright is back to doing the hard yards in the Greene King IPA Championship, and the London Scottish player is relishing every minute of it.

For the third time in four seasons London Scottish and Rotherham Titans meet on the opening weekend of the season and Bright is determined to get off to a flying start.

Last season the Exiles finished fifth in the Championship but Bright admits despite Worcester and Bristol’s involvement this term, London Scottish are looking to break into the division’s top four this time around.

Last season Rotherham made the play-offs at Scottish's expense, and is in the midst of a three-game winning run over the exiles, but Bright is determined to ensure its payback time this weekend.

“We were fifth last year, so we are aiming for one place higher this time around," he said.

"It's going to be tough with the likes of Bristol and Worcester up there, so it'll almost be a 10-team race for the other two spots [in the play-offs].

“We've got to be more consistent away from home. We dropped quite a few games that we shouldn't have after Christmas and we let ourselves down there a little bit.

“We knew when that happened that we would struggle and would have to play catch-up, but if you'd have told us at the start of the season we would finish fifth we probably would have taken that. It's the highest place the club has been for the last 15 years."

He added: “Rotherham had an unreal season last year to get into the top four.

"We always have good battles with them and they've beaten us in three of our last four matches, so there's ground to make up there.

“Seeing a relatively small side like Rotherham get into the top four gives us great confidence for this season.

"There are a few teams running on smaller budgets than others, but if Rotherham can do it then why can't we?”

Bright, 35, was loaned to the RFU for a two-month period in the summer as England targeted the podium at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Mark Bright previews the new Greene King Championship season

England may have missed out on a medal in Scotland but Bright insists that despite forgoing a summer of rest and recuperation, he has no doubts that he made the right decision to play sevens in the summer.

He said: “It was a great experience to play at the Commonwealth Games.

"I mulled it over for a bit whether to do it or not, being 35 years old, but I thought it would be the only chance I'd get to have a crack at it, but it was very worthwhile that's for sure.

“I finished last season, had two weeks off and then was back for two weeks with the London Scottish trainer by myself just running lengths of the field, which was terrible.

“Then I was back in with the England sevens boys from the end of May until the end of July, so there's not been much time off.

“I've played a fair bit of invitational sevens with the Samurai, but it was a different level at the Commonwealth Games, it definitely went up a notch."

He added: “To play at Ibrox was unbelievable - the stadium was packed out for the whole two days.

"When I first ran out the noise they made was ridiculous but when we played against Scotland in the Plate knockouts the level was 10 times louder.

"I thought we ought to go easy on them otherwise we'd have been in trouble.”

Formed in 2009, the Greene King IPA Championship is the second tier of professional rugby union in England. To keep up-to-date with all the latest news follow @ChampRugby on Twitter, or visit www.rfu.com/championship

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