"History will continue" - London Irish will continue in the lower leagues next season - Ruck

“History will continue” – London Irish will continue in the lower leagues next season

London Irish Amateur RFC have vowed to keep the name and history of the 125-year-old club going after the professional club was suspended by the RFU.

The amateur club became a separate legal entity soon after the sport of rugby union went open in 1995.

London Irish, given until Tuesday to secure a takeover or face suspension, will be unable to participate in any league matches in the upcoming season.

However, the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body, confirmed that the proposed takeover did not come to fruition.

Kevin Flynn, chairman of London Irish Amateur revealed: “Following the difficult and unfortunate news that our cousins the London Irish professional team have been suspended by the RFU from the premiership, the Executive committee of London Irish Amateur Rugby Football club (LIARFC) would like to remind members that we are a separate independent member of the RFU and therefore our own position is unaffected by this suspension.

“We share the history of the club, going back to its formation in 1898, and many of our 2,000-plus members are season-ticket holders or supporters of the professional team when they are playing at Brentford.

“So the message is, we are very much hoping for the best for the professional side. But, either way, we are planning to continue at Hazelwood, and we are expecting to restart our rugby for next season in July, as per normal.

“London Irish Amateurs are in rude health with around 800 players overall, including the lifeblood of the club in the mini, youth and colts sections, plus around 150 coaches, volunteers and team managers, and the adult men’s side playing at level 6 of the RFU system, and the adult women who are in Championship South 1 (level 2).


“We have the benefit of a world-class facility at Hazelwood, we have a lease there, we share the costs of running it and we have put money in to maintain it.

“We are advised we have a good position as a sitting tenant, and there is an agreement in planning for community use of the land for a certain amount of time each year.”


“Queue of clubs” – Four players linked with London Irish exit prior to suspension

#1. Lovejoy Chawatama – Bristol Bears

The Rugby Paper suggests that Bristol may make an offer to sign Lovejoy Chawatama, a 30-year-old tighthead prop from Zimbabwe.

Chawatama, the Zimbabwean athlete who gained renown as the Zimbabwe Sports Personality of the Year in 2017, became a member of the Exiles team after leaving London Welsh in that very year.

Standing at an impressive height of 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 18 stone, this formidable prop forward has accumulated a commendable record of 75 appearances for London Irish. His arrival at Bristol Rugby Club presents an opportunity to bolster their ranks with his wealth of experience in the number three jersey.

This acquisition is particularly valuable as the team will face the absence of their first-choice tighthead, Kyle Sinckler, who is committed to England throughout the upcoming season.