“In three words: A learning curve.”

That was the reply from London Scottish prop Phil Cringle when asked to describe his sides’ campaign last season.

It’s no surprise then that the tighthead believes the return of Mark Bright to the set-up will help breed the winning mentality that comes with the talismanic number 8 ahead of the Greene King IPA Championship curtain raiser this weekend.

Scottish face Richmond at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Saturday and Cringle is sure the tough pre-season and the addition of new and old faces to the fold will help them improve on their 11th placed finish last season.

“We weren’t particularly happy with the way last season panned out,” said Cringle.

“We felt we were better than where we finished, we underperformed.

“This year we’ve got in some experienced players and we look to go better than last year.”

Mark Bright’s return was confirmed earlier this year after two seasons away at Ealing Trailfinders following a five-year spell with Scottish, and Cringle says the return of the two-time Dream Championship XV and former Player of the Year nominee was welcome.

“It’s exciting to have Mark back.

“He’s been there, done it, so it’s great to have a player who the boys can learn from and listen to.

“He was in a team who were used to winning games and obviously it’s great to have people who know how to win games.”

The last fixture between the west London rivals saw Scottish triumph 30-28, although it was Richmond who finished higher up the table in ninth, and Cringle says all their pre-season training has geared up to the showdown.

“Pre-season started in early June, it feels like a long time ago now, and it’s all to fire us in to the Richmond game on Saturday.

“It’s a massive game for us, and we couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.

“Everything is building up to that, all the focus is on the derby and these are the games that everyone gets excited for.”

London Scottish finished their pre-season with a comprehensive 45-19 win over Loughborough Students and looking ahead to Saturdays game against Richmond, Cringle said:

“All I want is a win for Scottish. I don’t care how, but a win.”