LONDON IRISH HAVE today announced big news on and off the playing field.
On it, former Leinster and Springbok prop CJ van der Linde has joined the club on a short-term contract to run until the end of the season.
Perhaps more importantly though, is the news off the field where a London based Irish consortium has acquired a majority shareholding of the club.
Mick Crossan, born in London with roots in Cavan, leads the consortium and will take over as president of the club while former captain David Fitzgerald has been appointed interim chairman.
Crossan is chairman of Powerday, who currently sit as the principle sponsor of the Exiles at both professional and amateur levels.
“The members of the consortium are delighted to assume responsibility for London Irish at this important time in the club’s history,” Crossan said in a statement today.
“The club is known and respected throughout the world and is a sleeping giant in terms of its unrealised potential. We’re looking forward to working with all the club’s stakeholders to take it to the next level.”
The change of ownership has today been approved by the RFU and the consortium have laid out “substantial new funds” for concentration in the club’s Academy and centre of excellence and to strengthen the coaching and playing staff.
The latter which appears to have started with the addition of van der Linde from the Golden Lions.the 33-year-old will join up with Brian Smith’s squad next week.