Planet Rugby

Takeover to help Irish keep stars?

11th December 2013 11:08


Marland Yarde Try v London Irish

Out of contract: Marland Yarde

London Irish are expected to announce a takeover by an Irish consortium to bring new investment into the club on Thursday.

Both England wing Marland Yarde and exiled Wallaby full-back James O'Connor are out of contract come the end of the 2013/14 season.

Though details of the takeover have not been made public, the Daily Mail reports that Irishman Mick Crossan, chairman of recycling and waste management company Powerday, is at the forefront of the bid.

Powerday have been the Premiership club's lead sponsor for over two years, and list ex-Irish captain Bob Casey among their employees.

Crossan is a regular attendee at the Madejski Stadium, and reportedly has his sights set on an Irish recruitment drive should he gain control.

Ireland prop Tom Court has already been signed from Ulster, with Munster and Ireland second row Donnacha Ryan another transfer target.

'They're recruiting hard and want to get a good strong Irish element in their team again,' Court told the Mail.

'They mentioned that there was maybe a change in management of the board, but to be honest I didn't make a lot of it.'

While the cash injection Crossan would bring to the club could help keep Yarde at Irish, the England winger reportedly wants the club to challenge higher in the Premiership table to match his own growing ambitions prior to committing to a new deal.

The Exiles also boast a new 57-acre training complex in Sunbury, another useful bargaining tool for new signings, and the sale of former grounds The Avenue will also offer a financial boost.

London Irish have scheduled a press conference for Thursday.

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