Ibuanokpe excited to do battle with former club
Josh Ibuanokpe was happy to play alongside some of Saracens more seasoned professionals in last weekend’s win at Northampton Saints.
The Sarries prop started his third game in a row and featured in the team with the likes of Jackson Wray, Richard Barrington and Will Skelton for the first time.
Victory at Franklin’s Gardens kept the Men in Black’s hopes of qualifying for the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals and Ibuanokpe says the squad ‘laid a marker down’ ahead of facing London rivals Harlequins at Allianz Park.
“We’ve getting better every week and we’re reacting to stuff well,” he said.
“It’s a big match for them and big for us too.”
“We’ve got some more leaders back like Jacko, Baz and Skelts and it’s been really good to play with those guys – I’ve been excited to play with them all pre-season.”
Ibuanokpe continued: “We really needed a win so that our hopes of staying in the competition would be alive.
“It was a really good win with bonus point at a tough place; they’ve always got a good crowd. We showed what we can do and laid a marker down for this weekend.”
Captain Brad Barritt, Calum Clark and Ben Spencer are some of the experienced players back in the starting XV to take on Ibuanokpe’s former side.
It is the first opportunity for the ex-Quin to do battle with the Twickenham outfit since his move to north London and he is relishing the encounter.
“It will be weird, eh?” he said.
“It will be very weird to be on the other team but I’m looking forward to it. I think a few of the boys I used to play with know I’m looking forward to it as I’ve been talking about it for a couple of months!
“I’m sure they’re excited too. They rarely get the chance to play at Allianz Park due to the big match being held at other stadiums. It’s a big match for them and big for us too.”