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Kidney's London Irish win, Madigan and Bristol promoted, and all the exiles action

London Irish and Bristol may still be swapping places next season.

THREE OF THE four Irish provinces enjoyed success in the Guinness Pro14 and it was a good weekend for several of the Irishmen abroad too.

Here, we round-up the action from England and France in recent days.

Aviva Premiership

Declan Kidney and Les Kiss’ London Irish gave themselves a faint lifeline in the English top flight by hammering Harlequins 35-5 away from home on Saturday.

Declan Kidney before the game Kidney had reason to smile over the weekend. Source: Martin Bennett/INPHO

The Exiles remain bottom of the Premiership and are still nine points behind 11th-placed Worcester but this bonus-point win at least keeps their hopes of staying up alive with three tough league games left.

London Irish face Exeter at home this Sunday, before a home tie with Saracens and then a trip to Bath on the final day of the campaign.

The excitement of London Irish’s four-try win was dampened by Worcester’s 27-13 win against Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Mark McCall‘s Saracens hammered Alan Gaffney’s Northampton 63-13 to continue their chase of leaders Exeter.

Ian Whitten was on the right wing for the Chiefs as they secured a bonus-point victory of their own against David Humphreys‘ Gloucester yesterday on a 46-10 scoreline.

Gareth Steenson, who has lost the starting out-half shirt to Joe Simmonds in recent weeks, came off the bench for Exeter to score a 75th-minute try, picking off a loose Gloucester offload.

Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks - Aviva Premiership - Franklin's Gardens Mike Haley will be playing for Munster next season. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Wasps suffered a 28-27 defeat to Sale on Friday night, losing to a late Marland Yarde try, with future Munster fullback Mike Haley playing the 80 minutes for the Sharks.

Ulster-bound tighthead Marty Moore was a replacement for Wasps in the closing minutes, his 15th league appearance of the season.

Leicester Tigers, for whom Geordan Murphy is an assistant coach, enjoyed a five-try 34-19 win over Bath.

Greene King IPA Championship

Pat Lam’s Bristol were confirmed as champions of the English second tier over the weekend, as their big win away to Nottingham was followed up by second-placed Ealing Trailfinders losing to Doncaster.

With the Championship play-offs scrapped this season, Bristol – for whom Conor McPhillips is backs and attack coach – will go straight up to the Premiership.

Ireland international out-half Ian Madigan kicked seven conversions and two penalties in the 60-17 win over Ian Costello‘s Nottingham on Friday night.

Ian Madigan Madigan will be playing Premiership rugby next season. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Former Leinster and Connacht hooker Jason Harris-Wright scored his ninth try in 17 league appearances, while former Ireland U20 international Joe Joyce started in the second row and Irish-qualified back Jack Tovey came off the bench.

Ex-Munster man Sean Scanlon was at fullback for Nottingham, while Gearoid Lyons started at out-half, Jordan Coghlan was at number eight and former Connacht lock Danny Qualter also started.

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Ealing’s challenge to Bristol ended with a 50-19 defeat away to the Doncaster Knights, for whom Worcester-bound scrum-half Michael Heaney came off the bench.

Former Stade Français fullback/out-half Peter Lydon was part of the replacements bench for Ealing.

London Scottish enjoyed a 49-14 win over Rotherham Titans, with first team captain Danny Kenny impressing at number eight and former Ireland U20 wing Charlie Ingall among the try scorers.

Former Ireland Exiles out-half Caolan Ryan scored a conversion for the already-relegated Titans.

Cornish Pirates had a big 51-20 victory over Richmond, with ex-Ireland U20 wing Alex O’Meara, who previously trained with Connacht, scoring a first-half try. Former Ulster prop Craig Trenier came off the bench for the defeated Richmond.

Conor Joyce Former Ulsterman Conor Joyce was in action for Jersey. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

Second row Jerry Sexton scored a try for Jersey yesterday, but that five-pointer didn’t help to prevent a 26-21 defeat against Yorkshire Carnegie.

Former Ulster centre Mark Best was in the midfield for Jersey once again, while another ex-Ulster player, Conor Joyce, was in the back row.

Top 14

Bottom club Oyonnax, for whom Mike Prendergast is attack coach, saw their hopes of staying up take a blow with a 36-21 defeat to relegation rivals Agen on Saturday.

Former Munster man Dave Ryan started at tighthead for Agen, who now sit six points clear of the 13th-placed Brive.

Ex-Munster lock Dave Foley came off the bench in a 19-18 defeat away to Bordeaux, where Jeremy Davidson is forwards coach.

Pro D2

Ex-Munster lock John Madigan made his 21st start of the season for Massy as they beat Biarritz 31-24 on Friday night to move up to 11th place in the second tier of French rugby.

John Madigan celebrates John Madigan has been a key man for Massy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

His fellow ex-Munster lock Frank Bradshaw Ryan was in seventh-placed Nevers’ second row as they win 34-19 against Soyaux-Angouleme, the former Shannon man making his 14th appearance of the campaign.

Former Munster academy player Steve McMahon was at fullback again for Carcassone on Friday but they suffered a 38-19 loss at home to Beziers.

Guinness Pro14

Munster-bound Tadhg Beirne was in the second row for Scarlets as he bid farewell to Parc y Scarlets by helping the Welsh region to a 26-8 victory over Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

Former Connacht coach Michael Bradley‘s Zebre suffered a 41-6 defeat away to Leinster. 

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Murray Kinsella

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