STATEMENT: London Irish break silence following suspension - Ruck

STATEMENT: London Irish break silence following suspension

London Irish have released a statement after they were suspended from the Premiership by the RFU, following the same disastrous path already trodden by Worcester and Wasps

In an official statement, the RFU said: “As a result of London Irish and its potential buyers being unable to provide reassurances over the club’s financial ability to operate in the Premiership in the 2023-24 season, the RFU has confirmed the club is not able to participate in any league next season.

“The RFU’s Club Financial Viability Group allowed an extra week’s extension however, the club has failed to meet its commitments to pay staff and players in full for May.

The decision was taken after six months of talks to take over the club failed to materialise and to provide certainty to staff and players, thereby allowing them to seek alternative employment. The move also provides clarity to other clubs in the league and prevents a situation where the club goes into administration part way through a season.

“The RFU, Premiership Rugby and the RPA has been in regular dialogue with the club to support the takeover and provide regular updates to players and staff.  Today the three organisations have announced they have launched a hardship fund for players and staff who are most in need of financial support.


“Funded by the RFU and PRL, the hardship fund will be administered by Restart the official charity of the RPA; the fund will also be available to those in need following the Wasps and Worcester insolvencies.”

Their statement read: “The Club can confirm that London Irish has received correspondence from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to confirm suspension for the 2023/24 season.

“The suspension will result in the Club being unable to compete in the Gallagher Premiership, Premiership Rugby Cup, and Heineken Champions Cup throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

“The Club continues to remain in active discussions with the RFU as to any circumstances that may result in the suspension being lifted.”

“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.