The ongoing success of London Irish since 2008-09 owes much to David Paice, who made 17 Guinness Premiership appearances along the way to the Twickenham final that year. He had won his first Test caps off the bench for Lee Mears in New Zealand in 2008 and been a try-scorer for England Saxons in the 31-13 win over Ireland A at Welford Road, Leicester a few months earlier.
His Saxons' debut had been against the USA in the 2007 Barclays Churchill Cup but he twice missed the opportunity to add to his caps at that level when a rearranged Premiership match ruled him out of the Portugal game in January 2009. The last minute cancellation of the Ireland A match at Donnybrook the following month because of frost deprived him of another appearance.
David, who was born in Darwin, Australia, had signed for the London Irish Academy in July 2003 and was part of the U19 team that won the National Cup at the end of his first season. He had played initially for Souths U14 in Brisbane and went on to represent Queensland Schools and U19. Educated at Brisbane State High School, he opted to become available for England after also being eligible for Scotland, where his mother was born, and Australia.
His success story with the Irish includes helping the side to reach the Heineken Cup semi-finals in 2008 when they lost 21-15 to Toulouse at Twickenham. He had played off the bench in the 2006 European Challenge Cup final against Gloucester, who won 36-34 after extra time at Twickenham Stoop.
A member of the England Senior National Academy back in 2006-07, he was among four uncapped forwards in the original England party for the 2008 New Zealand tour that became a memorable one for him. By mid November this year he had made 121 appearances and scored 11 tries for the Irish in the Premiership. His ninth Saxons' cap was in the starting side for the 37-6 win over Canada at Sixways in the Churchill Cup final in June last year.