BREAKING: England Star Ollie Hassell-Collins to Depart London Irish - Ruck

BREAKING: England Star Ollie Hassell-Collins to Depart London Irish

London Irish have confirmed that England-capped winger Ollie Hassell-Collins will be leaving the club at the end of the Premiership season. Hassell-Collins has become a firm fan favourite at the G-tech Community Stadium, and this move will be tough to take for Exiles fans.

Ollie Hassell-Collins of London Irish steps inside Max Malins of Bristol Bears to score during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between London Irish and Bristol Bears at The Stoop on 04 Oct. Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK/Gallagher.

The 24-year-old is a homegrown academy graduate, and has made 101 appearances for Irish. Hassell-Collins made his debut in the 2018/19 Championship season, and was a key player in helping the Exiles secure promotion back into the Gallagher Premiership.

A born try-scorer, Hassell-Collins has been sparking up the Premiership with exciting performances and scored 43 times in the process. The flying winger described London Irish as a “very special club” on the official press release confirming his departure. Then Hassell-Collins then went on to say;

“A decision to leave a place like London Irish is never an easy one, they have provided me with more than I can put into words in my time here, but I feel the time is right for a new challenge.  

Ollie Hassell-Collins on London Irish is tackled by Alec Clarey of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership match between Saracens and London Irish at The StoneX Stadium, Hendon, London on November 6 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

“Throughout my years with Irish and to this day, I have always been surrounded by excellent coaches, staff and players and I want to thank them for playing a very important role in my journey.  

“There is still a lot to play for this season, and rest assured, I will do my utmost to repay the work put in and play my part in the really important games coming up for London Irish.

“Finally, I want to thank the supporters of this very special Club for their support of me and the team through good times and bad, and I am confident that they will be rewarded for their continued faith in the Club very soon.”

Ollie Hassell-Collins of England on the break is tackled by Kyle Steyn of Scotland during the Six Nations Championship, Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 4th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers have confirmed that they have signed Hassell-Collins ahead of the new season.

After inspired performances in a London Irish jersey, Ollie Hassell-Collins was called up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad for the 2023 Guinness Six Nations. He made his test debut against Scotland in the opening match of the competition, and was a stand-out player, making full use out of his opportunities.

Considered to have been overlooked, after being dropped out of the England camp, Hassell-Collins took the move in his stride, and was back tearing up the Premiership just the following weekend. London Irish’s Director of Rugby Declan Kidney thanked Hassell-Collins for his immense contributions to the club.

Ollie Hassell-Collins of England during the England Rugby Captains Run ahead of the Six Nations Match between England and Italy at Twickenham, London on 11 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

“I know that alongside his contributions for London Irish, Ollie as a person will always be remembered fondly by everyone at the Club and our supporters too. I have learned a lot from Ollie as a person.  

“That is down to his personality and the hard work he has put in through the years to become the player that he is today, Leicester have gained a very valuable man on and off the field.  

Ollie Hassell-Collins of England during the England Rugby Training camp at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 30 Jan. 2023 Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Ollie and his family for their time and effort over the years and wish them well for the future.”