"I'm completely devastated" - Online reaction to London Irish demise - Ruck

“I’m completely devastated” – Online reaction to London Irish demise

London Irish has faced the consequence of suspension from the Premiership due to their failure to meet the deadline for payment to their players and staff.

The club had been granted until Tuesday to finalize a takeover or face the risk of suspension, and unfortunately, they were unable to fulfill this requirement.

As a result, London Irish will be prohibited from participating in any league matches in the upcoming season.

Throughout the 2022-23 season, the club managed to secure a fifth-place finish in the Premiership.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body, released a statement confirming that the anticipated takeover of the club did not come to fruition.

Online reaction:

Former Exile and England international Alex Corbisiero wrote: “Heart Broken for London Irish, thinking of all the players, staff and fans right now.”

Harlequins wrote: “Our sincere sympathies and best wishes to the players, coaches, supporters and all connected to London Irish at this incredibly difficult time. Harlequins will now work closely with Premiership Rugby, The RFU and all key stakeholders to understand the implications of the suspension on the up-coming season and will be in contact with our supporters with further detail, including the Club’s action plan.”

Jim Hamilton commented: “Another club with deep rooted history in Rugby, gone. A sad day.”

https://twitter.com/Jonathanjoseph0/status/1666164886919946244

Sonja McLaughlan said: “Always jumped at the chance to do a game at London Irish. A style of rugby that warmed the soul. Feel desperate for Declan Kidney, Les Kiss and everyone connected with the club. How ironic they’d just finished as best of the rest in the league and now this. It’s a mess.”

Advertisement

Wallabies lock and London Irish star Ollie Hoskins took to Twitter, writing: “I’m completely devastated.

“This club meant more to me than just a job. It was legit a home away from home and had people involved that I considered a part of my family.

“Thank you to all the fans, players & coaches over the last 7 years. It’s been incredible. I love you all.”

Guardian scribe Dave Kitson commented: “So farewell then, London Irish as a pro team. Booted unceremoniously out of the leagues, with RFU chairman Tom Ilube saying the RFU “cannot continue to invest in failing business models.” Ouch. Such a sad day for all those who have loved the club.”

Italy star Dave Sisi commented: “Owe my career to this historic club, just sad.”

Gloucester Rugby posted: “Gloucester Rugby would like to express our sadness following the news of London Irish‘s suspension from the Gallagher Premiership. Our thoughts are with the fans, staff and players.”

https://twitter.com/gloucesterrugby/status/1666157936102473745

Andy Goode, who briefly signed with the club before retiring, commented: “Thoughts with every player, member of staff and fan of London Irish tonight.

“Such sad news to hear of the suspension from the leagues. Mismanagement and poor running of businesses across the league to blame.”

Tom May wrote: “And another one. Some people have got a massive amount to answer for. Hundreds of jobs lost across 3 BIG clubs. If ever a sport needed to wake up & grow up, this is probably it. New, fresh approaches and faces needed. And quickly. Sad day. Another one.”

Prominent rugby journalist Jessica Hayden wrote: “Feeling so sorry for the London Irish staff, players and fans tonight. I really can’t imagine the feeling of losing a club you’ve supported all your life. I so hoped it wouldn’t come to this.”

Stuart Barnes added: “Feeling glum at London Irish news. A great old club I enjoyed playing against that is yet another subsumed despite doing so well on the pitch and with their academies.

Scotland international Scott Steele added: “Heart breaking news. Thoughts go out to everyone involved with @londonirish . Great club but more importantly great people”

Rugby transfer guru Neil Fissler weighed in, saying: “Seems like London Irish players and staff were the subject of lies and piss taking until the very end. Feel for them. Hopefully the find clubs and new jobs ASAP.”

Former player Gonzalo Tiesi added: “So sad news. London Irish gave me the chance to become a professional back in 2006. Great club, great people and better memories. Hope things can get sorted in the near future, in the meantime a big hug to all the London Irish community!”

“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.

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO