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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Exiles
Court off the mark in the Premiership as Irish coaches taste defeat
Here’s how the Irish players in the English and French leagues got on over the weekend.

THERE WERE A number of Irish coaches and players involved in the English and French club action over the weekend.

We’ve rounded it all up so you can keep an eye on the Irish abroad.

Aviva Premiership

Ireland international prop Tom Court scored his first try for London Irish in their 24-9 win over London Welsh at the Madejski on Friday night, the Exiles third victory of the season. Court was making his 11th Premiership start since joining from Ulster.

Tom Court Billy Stickland / INPHO Court won 32 caps for Ireland before moving to London Irish. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Fergus Mulchrone, an Irish-qualified centre, wore the 13 shirt for Brian Smith’s side, while Tomás O’LearyEamonn Sheridan and Conor Gilsenan all featured off the bench.

Ex-Leinster prospect Gilsenan has made five Premiership appearances for the club, following a loan spell at Connacht last season.

On the losing side were Paul Rowley and Peter Browne, an IQ back row/lock. Both players were replacements for London Welsh, with former Munster scrum-half Rowley having earned his first Premiership start last month against Northampton.

Ulsterman Gareth Steenson couldn’t prevent a 31-14 defeat for his Exeter Chiefs side away to Bath yesterday, although the out-half did kick a conversion. In a highly-entertaining game, ex-Ulster centre Ian Whitten was used off the Chiefs’ bench.

Newcastle went down to an agonising 25-23 loss at home to Saracens the same day, with Ireland U20-capped hooker George McGuigan a second-half replacement. The promising front row has already racked up four Premiership starts this season.

George McGuigan James Crombie / INPHO McGuigan was an Ireland U20 international in 2013. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

A superb 82,000 crowd at Twickenham witnessed Conor O’Shea‘s Harlequins beaten 30-25 by Northampton Saints, although Leicester backs coach Geordan Murphy had reason to celebrate after the Tigers’ 32-30 win away to Sale.

Today’s fixture saw Gloucester lose 30-23 at home to Wasps. David Humphreys, director of rugby at Kingsholm, can’t be too pleased with Gloucester’s form, as they sit ninth having won four times in 11 Premiership fixtures this season.

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Top 14

Bernard Jackman‘s Grenoble were beaten 19-15 in La Rochelle this afternoon, with both scrum-half James Hart and centre Chris Farrell in the starting XV.

Former Clontarf man Hart was starting his fourth game of the season, with South African Charl McLeod having made an impact at Grenoble since joining from Super Rugby.

Chris Farrell 22/6/2012 Photo by Ron Gaunt Former Ireland U20 cap Farrell was on the losing side in La Rochelle. Photo by Ron Gaunt

Farrell, meanwhile, continues to be an important player as he started for the seventh time in the Top 14 season.

Elsewhere, Ronan O’Gara‘s Racing Métro left Toulouse without a win. Four Luke McAlister penalties and one from Toby Flood ensured Toulouse’s recent resurgence continued at Stade Ernest Wallon.

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