Livescore Thursday, April 25

The grassroots section of London Irish have issued a reminder that the suspension of their Gallagher Premiership professional team won’t affect them and they expect to be open for pre-season business in July and playing matches at Hazelwood in September.

Irish became the third club in less than a year to fall out of the English top-flight through financial mismanagement, the RFU confirming their suspension for 2023/24 and rubber stamping a 10-team Premiership compared to last September’s starting line that featured the now-collapsed Wasps and Worcester as well as the Exiles.

Declan Kidney’s team, which last month finished in fifth place in the Premiership, won’t be permitted to feature in any league next season after their proposed takeover by an American-led consortium fell through and current owner Mick Crossan couldn’t provide the required assurances that he would continue to fund them.

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The professional team shares its Hazelwood training ground facility with the club’s amateur section. Their top men’s grassroots team play in Regional 2 Thames, tier six in the English pyramid, and chairman Kevin Flynn has insisted that the pro club’s suspension won’t affect them.

A statement read: “Following the difficult and unfortunate news that our cousins the London Irish professional team have been suspended by the RFU from the Premiership, the executive committee of London Irish Amateur Rugby Football Club (LIARFC) would like to remind members that we are a separate independent member of the RFU and therefore our own position is unaffected by this suspension.

“We continue to work with the pros over the management of Hazelwood and remain confident that we will be back for pre-season training in July and playing rugby at Hazelwood at the start of the new season in September.

“We would be grateful if you could assist in promoting this message and we will provide further updates as the situation unfolds. This is a difficult and unsettling time for all those involved with the professional club, and we remain hopeful for a speedy conclusion to the proposed takeover discussions. Our best wishes go out to all the players and staff members.”

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