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Back to the capital for Kidney's London Irish as new home venue plans confirmed

The Exiles will leave Reading’s Madejski Stadium to share with Brentford from the start of the 2020/21 season.

London Irish director of rugby Kidney and head coach Kiss.
London Irish director of rugby Kidney and head coach Kiss.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

LONDON IRISH HAS this morning made what the club says is ‘one of the most significant announcements in its history’ by confirming that they’re returning to play in London.

Declan Kidney and Les Kiss’ side will line out at the new Brentford Community Stadium from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium has been their first-team home venue for the last 18 years, which is 30 miles away from the club’s training base in Sunbury.

A statement from the English Championship club reads:

“While London Irish has enjoyed many successful years at Reading and is extremely grateful to Reading FC who have been excellent landlords, the club’s ambition has long been to return to west London and to re-establish itself closer to its historic base.

“London Irish’s management believes that the timing of the new Brentford stadium fits perfectly with this ambition and that the circumstances are now right to make this move.”

The new 17,250-capacity stadium, where Brentford FC will also play, is currently under construction and due to open in time for the 20/21 season.

“In moving to the Brentford Community Stadium we feel confident that we will be able to attract a larger supporter base to join us as we build for the future, reaching out to our previous west London catchment area, to Greater London and the Irish diaspora throughout the UK,”  London Irish’s President Mick Crossan said.

“We are therefore very pleased to have agreed this deal with Brentford’s management and are looking forward to working closely with them to make the Brentford Community Stadium an outstanding home for us.

“Our special thanks to Matthew Benham, Cliff Crown, Mark Devlin, Conor Hayes, Alan Walsh and all at Brentford Football Club for facilitating this partnership.

“I can’t wait to see the team run out to play its first game in 2020!”

- Updated 13.45

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