Exeter Chiefs' Luke Arscott prepared to take on his brother of London Welsh in Aviva Premiership encounter
Luke Arscott hopes to play against his younger brother Tom for the first time when Exeter Chiefs take on London Welsh at Oxford's Kassam Stadium this weekend.
The two Plymouth-born backs have never faced each other in a game at any level during their rugby-playing careers.
Both started at full-back for their respective clubs last weekend, and are eager to keep their places for this Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash.
"If we are both involved, it will be the first time we have played against each other, and it will be interesting," said 28-year-old Luke. "I am not sure which side our parents will be on though. Probably both straight down the middle, or one on each side!"
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Tom, 25, has been earning some rave reviews since joining Welsh during the summer after leaving Worcester Warriors at the end of last season. "He is enjoying it at London Welsh," said Luke. "He likes living in London, and the style that they play suits his game, and he is happy there at the moment."
The Arscotts, who played together at both Plymouth Albion and Bristol, are not the only brothers in the Premiership. In fact, amazingly, there are six other pairs.
Ben and Tom Youngs both play for Worcester, Errie and Michael Claassens are at Worcester and Bath respectively, Nick Easter is at Harlequins and Mark at Sale, Hudson and Soane Tonga'uiha run out for London Welsh and Northampton respectively, Karl and Lee Dickson are scrum-halves for Harlequins and Northampton, and Brett and Louis Deacon are both at Leicester.
Exeter do not have fond memories of their most recent trips to play Welsh, which both occurred in the year the Devon side won promotion from what was National One, now the Championship, in 2010.
They lost 12-10 in the regular season at Old Deer Park, and 16-15 at Esher's Molesey Road in the play-offs, when Welsh's home ground was not available.
"I wasn't with the Chiefs at the time – I was at Bristol – but they had a couple of tough away games against them in the Championship-winning year. Welsh are obviously at a new ground now though, it is a new place to go to and a new challenge for us," said Arscott.
Arscott had to content himself with coming off the replacements' bench for Exeter's opening league match of the season, when they thumped Sale Sharks 43-6, with Phil Dollman preferred in the full-back position, but an injury to centre Jason Shoemark in that game saw Dollman switch to centre for the visit to Northampton last Sunday, opening the way for Arscott's return.
He put in a very impressive display to do his case to be retained in the starting line-up no harm at all, including playing a part in Dollman's first-half try.
"It has been tough watching on from the sidelines over pre-season and against Sale last week, but luckily I got the opportunity against Saints with Shoey's injury, and hopefully I have put my hand up for future selection," said Arscott.
Exeter have started the season with six points from their first two games, and Arscott admitted they were pleased to get something for their efforts at Northampton, when Matt Jess scored a late try in their 24-21 defeat.
"It was disappointing to lose, but coming away from Franklin's Gardens with a losing bonus point is not the end of the world," he said.
There was a big call by referee JP Doyle just before half-time, when he deemed Saints' No.8 GJ Van Velze's tip tackle on Exeter scrum-half Will Chudley as a yellow card offence, rather than a sending-off. "If you look at the Sam Warburton incident in last year's World Cup final, I think a lot of people agree it was a bit harsh for him to get a red card for that [when he was sent off for a tip tackle against France], so I think a yellow was probably the right decision on Sunday," said Arscott.