London Welsh captain Matt Corker has seen it all at Old Deer Park and even he cannot rule out a late dash for Championship promotion this term.

The Exiles, promoted and relegated from the Premiership twice in the past five years, host neighbours London Scottish tomorrow with both teams struggling in the lower reaches of the table.

Ninth-placed Welsh, under head coach Rowland Phillips, have suffered a long hangover from Premiership relegation last term – a campaign that saw them finish winless in the top flight.

They face the Scots, eighth in the table, for the 70th time in the history of the two clubs tomorrow and Corker, who has been with the club since 2007, is hoping a local derby can fire up his men for an assault on a top four finish.

“Derby’s are always special and the fact it is so local – literally a stone’s throw away – adds a real bit of spice to the occasion,” he said.

Leading from the front: London Welsh's Matt Corker is pleased the club has returned to play at Old Deer Park after a brief flirtation with Oxford's Kassam stadium

“You can’t really put a finger on what has gone wrong this season, but it has taken longer than we expected to get over relegation.

“The standard is much higher in this league than the last time we were in this competition and everyone is beating everyone.

“We are very much performance driven and that is the way it has to be. We have to get our performance levels right and everything else will take care of itself.

“If we can get on a good run, you cannot underestimate what is possible.”

Welsh might still be a top flight club had it not been for disgraced former team manager Mike Scott botching the registration of scrum half Tyson Keats in 2012.

Scott was banned from rugby for life and Welsh were deducted five points over the incident, which ultimately cost them their Premiership status and £15,000 in fines.

But 33-year-old Corker feels the players remain partly responsible for that particular low point.

“Everyone at a rugby club has to do their job to be successful,” he added.

“We had got ourselves in a good position to stay up before the points deduction, so it was a blow.

“Despite that, we still had the ability and an opportunity to stay up that season, but we could not take it.”