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London Irish have been relegated after 20 seasons in the English top flight

Bedford’s exit from the Championship play-offs means London Irish’s Premiership stay is over.

London Irish's players following defeat to Harlequins last weekend.
London Irish's players following defeat to Harlequins last weekend.

LONDON IRISH’S RELEGATION from the Aviva Premiership was confirmed today as Bedford Blues suffered defeat to Bristol in the Championship play-off semi-finals.

Defeat to Harlequins last weekend meant Irish were certain to finish bottom of English rugby’s top flight.

The Exiles, who have been in the English top flight since 1996, retained slim hope of avoiding relegation due to Bedford not meeting Premiership entry criteria.

However, the Blues were comfortably beaten by Bristol over two legs, the latter triumphing 45-19 at Ashton Gate on Sunday to wrap up a 90-35 aggregate win and book a promotion decider with Doncaster.

Doncaster were beaten 17-14 at home by Yorkshire Carnegie, but that was enough to earn a 44-34 aggregate triumph.

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