LONDON Irish sensation Joe Cokanasiga is hoping to maintain his red-hot try-scoring form when Exiles host Sale Sharks on Saturday (3pm).

The 20-year-old wing has been electric as Nick Kennedy’s men have begun to build momentum during the past month, their 42-21 Anglo-Welsh Cup victory at Cardiff Blues on Friday night being a fourth consecutive win.

And they are now bidding to boost their Aviva Premiership survival hopes when Steve Diamond’s side visit Madejski Stadium.

Irish are currently nine points adrift of second-bottom Worcester Warriors, and face a trio of potentially season-defining fixtures with a trip to Northampton Saints and a home game with their fellow strugglers following the Sharks encounter.

Cokanasiga has run in six tries in his last five appearances – two of those from the bench – and is hoping to build on his first top-flight score against Leicester Tigers, which started a hot streak including a hat-trick against Wasps in his last game at Madejski Stadium.

He said: “It was a long time coming, but I’m off the mark and I’m very keen to add to that tally.

“Playing and scoring at Welford Road gave my confidence a massive boost. It’s certainly been a huge step up from playing Championship rugby last season and it’s taken some time to find my feet in the Aviva Premiership, but I’m in a good place with London Irish and it’s up to me to keep improving.”

He continued: “I’m really happy with my game at present and I’m looking forward to more minutes on the field in the coming weeks.

“It’s always nice to score a hat-trick, but I have to thank the forwards for the part they played in supplying me with the ball in good areas of the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy is under no illusions as to the importance of Saturday’s clash, adding: “Every game is huge for us and we go into the match against Sale full of confidence. We’re in a good place now and we’ll throw everything we can at Sale.”