Tommy Bell scored 24 points in London Irish’s 39-29 victory against Harlequins at Twickenham

London Irish’s players were “not shocked” by their winning return to the Premiership against Harlequins, says full-back Tommy Bell.

The Exiles beat Quins 39-29 at Twickenham on Saturday to secure a bonus-point win in the opening round.

Bell, 24, scored one of Irish’s four tries and kicked a further 19 points.

“I knew we could produce that sort of performance and the other players did too,” he told BBC Sport. “We know what we’re about and knew we could deliver.”

Irish, who won the Championship in May to secure promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt, have been tipped to struggle this season.

“All the media and all the talk’s been about Quins, and us finishing 12th, but come full-time, we’ve gone and done it,” Bell told BBC Radio Berkshire.

“But, at the same time, we know it’s only week one and we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. The plan is to keep developing, keep progressing and building our game week by week.”

Irish face defending champions Exeter on Saturday knowing the Chiefs will be smarting from their opening weekend defeat by Gloucester.

“We’ve got some big challenges ahead, we know that, but it’s just exciting,” former Leicester player Bell added. “We’ll go to Exeter prepared for a massive challenge.”


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