Irish target swift Premiership return

Date published: May 1 2016

With their relegation confirmed following Sunday's loss to Harlequins, London Irish are already looking to the future.

Irish's 17th loss of the season leaves them six points behind Newcastle Falcons with a round to go, and therefore stranded in 12th place.

Their only possible escape would be if Bedford win the Championship play-offs, due to their ground not meeting the criteria for promotion, which appears unlikely after Bedford's first leg loss to favourites Bristol on Sunday. 

"The club’s vision for its future in the top tier of rugby in this country and Europe remains unchanged. Plans are already in place to ensure that the club will return to the Premiership for the 2017/18 season," the club said in statement.

Speaking on behalf of the Club’s Board of directors Mick Crossan, President of London Irish, said: “We would like to reassure supporters that we remain committed to this xlub and to realising its potential. Relegation is a set back and we will deal with it accordingly.

“Our plans for London Irish remain the same and I would like to thank our supporters for their continued support during what has been a tough time for all involved with our xlub.”

Bob Casey, Chief Executive at London Irish, said: “This is a sad day in the history of this great xlub. Relegation was not part of our plans, but we have to be honest, as hard as the players and management have worked, we haven’t been good enough this season.

"We will learn our lessons and respect the Championship, but keep our sights firmly set on returning to the Premiership.

“The foundations at London Irish are in place; we have excellent facilities, a thriving Academy programme and outstanding support staff. Unfortunately, the progress of our rugby programme has suffered a setback this season in what has been the strongest Premiership in a long time.

“I would like to thank our supporters. We have needed you more than ever before this season and you have turned up loyally and vocally to cheer the team on.

"We know we have disappointed you, rest assured we will do our utmost to ensure we return to the top tier of English rugby at the first time of asking.”