London Irish explore return to capital

16 Aug

London Irish at the Madejski Stadium


Reading’s Madejski Stadium has been London Irish’s home ground since 2000

Rugby union club London Irish are exploring a return to London, with a groundshare at Brentford FC’s proposed new stadium among the options.

Formal discussions have begun between Irish and Hounslow Borough Council about playing rugby in west London.

Irish, relegated from the Premiership last season, currently play their home games at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.

Planning permission has been granted for a 20,000-capacity ground to replace Brentford’s current Griffin Park.

But construction at the site in nearby Lionel Road has been delayed since December 2013.

In April, Hounslow Borough Council was granted central government approval to allow a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the remaining land required by Brentford Football Club.

In a statement, Irish said “numerous discussions have taken place with a variety of clubs over the last five years” about a potential groundshare in London.

The Madejski Stadium has been Irish’s home since 2000 and the club have committed to staying there for the coming season.

The Exiles are contracted to groundshare in Reading until 2025-26, but a get-out clause can allow the deal to break early should they wish to make the move to Brentford.

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