Yorkshire welcome London Irish to Headingley Carnegie on Wednesday night for the first leg of the Greene King IPA Championship Final before travelling to Reading seven days later for the second leg.
    McGeechan says home advantage in the first leg is a chance for Carnegie to set down a marker for the tie and has rallied the county’s supporters to turn out and cheer the team on as they face big spending Irish for the final place in next season’s Aviva Premiership.

    Looking ahead to the game, McGeechan said, “There is a lot of excitement around the club and quite rightly as we approach the final of the Greene King IPA Championship over the next two games. Everything we have built for all season is to get to this point and we know we are now two games away from the possibility of returning to the Aviva Premiership. If we get the rugby right, it will be a fantastic occasion and naturally that lifts everyone associated with Yorkshire Carnegie.

    “I think we have been playing some great rugby over the course of the season and the challenge now is to make sure we are consistent over 160 minutes of rugby against an outstanding London Irish team. They have a squad full of Premiership experience whilst we have been building for a number of years and I think our players and coaching staff have done a great job this year. I think this is our best season for around eight years and we have an almost fully fit squad to tackle the next two games. It is all to play for now.

    “We would love to see a big crowd here on Wednesday night and produce a great game for them to enjoy. A large, noisy home crowd could be important for us and will, no doubt, help the players on the night,” added the British & Irish Lions legend.

    Yorkshire Carnegie hold one of fourteen RFU Academy licenses along with the twelve Premiership clubs and London Irish. McGeechan believes the chance to bring top flight Rugby Union back to the county is a massive opportunity for the continuing strength of the game in Yorkshire.

    He added, “If we can get it right there is a possibility of Premiership Rugby back here at Headingley Carnegie again. That is very important for what we are doing with our academy and how successful that is. Our Academy pulls in the whole county through our programmes and this is an opportunity to have top class rugby in the county again.”

    Yorkshire Carnegie were runners up in the regular season behind London Irish and, with both teams having progressed through the two legged semi final, McGeechan believes the season is building to an exciting climax with the play off final. This season will be the last year that promotion is decided by the play offs and McGeechan says that will be a loss for the Championship division.

    He added,  “We need to play well here and score points but I think it will be a tight game. These are the two best sides and have proved that all year. We did not play well in Reading but did perform well against them here at Headingley Carnegie. We will need to step up our previous performances but I know our players can produce some fantastic rugby and we need to put that out there over the course of these two legs.

    “I think this is a great opportunity with the play offs system in its final year. The top four sides build to this point and I think play offs are a good addition to a season, you just need to look at the excitement being created in the Premiership right now to see that. Knock out rugby does change the mindset for teams; it is a season within a season,” added McGeechan.

    Wednesday’s game will be the final home match for outgoing Head Coach Bryan Redpath, who will begin a career in international finance this summer after a lifetimes involvement as a player and coach in the game. McGeechan paid tribute to his fellow former Scottish international.

    He added, “Bryan has done a great job for us, when he came we were eighth in the Championship and he took us up a couple of places that season. We were third last year and second this season, fifteen points clear of third place. He has pulled the squad together and the whole environment has been very positive. We have a lot to be grateful for what he has done for our club.”