Veteran Argentina and London Irish hooker Agustin Creevy is heading into his third year with Premiership club London Irish and there’s little sign of the front rower wanting to turn his back on the Exiles just yet.
Joining ahead of the 2020-21 season, Creevy arrived in time for the transition from Reading to Brentford and has become a staple in a side that has secured Champions Cup rugby for the first time in a decade.
“It’s really good here,” Creevy told City A.M. “The atmosphere is really good, the players and staff are great. I love this club.
“Everyone knows that I am comfortable here, we are all on the same level and it doesn’t feel like we have stars or whatever.
“Of course we need to improve sometimes in our mentality and in some games but we have made a lot of progress in the last two or three seasons.
“This season can be one where everything comes together and we can be in the top four, and why not champions?”
London Irish were the neutral’s favourite club last year, playing a style of rugby which saw the ball thrown around Barbarians style.
The club have, too, become a side of retention. Where once they raised brilliant talent only for it to disperse across other clubs, now they are keeping their home nations talent and thriving.
“I think we need to keep this kind of team [together] because it’s the kind of young player that helps to improve us,” 37-year-old Creevy said.
“We help the young boys and they help the experienced players – it is a really good combination.
“We need to keep Henry [Arundell] and Juan [Martin Gonzalez] and Lucio [Cinti] because there aren’t too many players like them in the world. We are lucky to have them at our club.
“But we also have personalities like Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons and Facundo Gigena – it is a good combination of internationals.”
Irish will play ties against Top14 champions Montpellier and United Rugby Championship winners The Stormers – based in Cape Town.
“I think the Champions Cup is a good challenge for London Irish,” 94-cap Puma Creevy added. “Playing against the South African team in Cape Town is a challenge, also.
“I have done it with the Jaguares [former Super Rugby side] but for a local team in England it’s strange.
“We are normally away in Europe but to go to another continent is pretty good, I am excited.”
And the rugby on the continent at the moment is arguably world-leading – 10 of the 23 Pumas who beat the All Blacks 18-25 in Christchurch earlier this month play in the Premiership with a further few in the URC and Top14.
“For the last two years I couldn’t be there [with the Pumas] but this season I came back, I know every player in that squad and I believe we are an amazing team,” Creevy said.
“I am hoping to return against the Springboks but the win [against the All Blacks] was a reflection of the years and years of suffering we have gone through.
“It was hard for us but we believe in our process and that the young boys are mature and playing well. They are our leadership, they are the leaders. It’s amazing.”
London Irish kick off their Premiership campaign at home to the troubled Worcester Warriors on Saturday before fixtures against Northampton Saints, Bristol Bears and Bath.
Creevy is settled in the capital now, and it’s evident that the side, too, are settled into life in London. With Champions Cup rugby to compete in and a renewed hope around Brentford, Irish will be targeting their first top four finish since 2009.