Brian Smith delighted with London Irish's 'leaders'

Director of rugby Brian Smith singled out the men he described as his side's "leaders" after London Irish secured an excellent Challenge Cup win in France.

Irish ran in six tries in beating Bordeaux-Begles 16-43 in a match that kicked off late on Saturday evening.

Smith said: "The leaders in the side - Ian Humphreys, Tomas O'Leary, Declan Danaher and Bryn Evans - really stepped up, and the troops followed.

If you are going to make an impression in Europe you have to win in France

Brian Smith London Irish director of rugby

"We now need to do the job in our next game in the competition next Saturday."

That will be against another French side, Mont-de-Marsan at the Madjeski Stadium, kicking off at 3pm.

"To travel so far and play at 9pm, when you hardly ever play that late, and produce a performance like that was a great credit to the squad," Smith told the Reading Post. 

"If you are going to make an impression in Europe you have to win in France.

"The boys are all very excited. We will have a few back from injury and it is going to be a difficult team to get into."

Smith continued: "We could have been a bit more precise in the first half. We challenged the guys to maintain the intensity and improve the passing because we knew we could blow them away in the second half."