London Irish

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For the British Army regiment, see London Irish Rifles. For the sitcom, see London Irish (TV series).
London Irish
London Irish.svg
Full name London Irish Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s) The Exiles
Founded 1898; 117 years ago (1898)
Location Reading, Berkshire, England
Ground(s) Madejski Stadium (Capacity: 24,161[1])
Chairman Andrew Coppel
Coach(es) Brian Smith
Captain(s) George Skivington
League(s) Aviva Premiership
2013–14 10th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

London Irish RFC is an English rugby union club based in Sunbury, Surrey, where the senior squad train, the youth teams and senior academy play home games, and the club maintain their administrative offices. The club competes in the top division of English rugby union, the Aviva Premiership. The club also compete in the Anglo-Welsh Cup as well as one of the two Europe-wide club competitions—the Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup, depending on their performance in the previous season. The club will continue to play their home games at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire until 2026.

The team plays in green and white colours, with a reversed away strip. London Irish won its first major trophy in 2002, claiming the Powergen Cup (the competition that later became the Anglo-Welsh Cup). Irish also reached the final of the 2009 Guinness Premiership, narrowly losing 10–9 to Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium.[2] In the 2007/08 season the team came close to a place in the Heineken Cup Final losing out to Stade Toulousain 15–21 in a tense semi-final encounter at Twickenham Stadium.[3] The club's mascot is an Irish Wolfhound called Digger.


The squad that played Racing Métro 92 at Parc des Princes in 1899.
London Irish playing at the Madejski Stadium with 22,648 people in attendance.
A match v Ulster in 2006.
London Irish's line out against Leicester Tigers.
London Irish drummers and fans at the Madejski Stadium.


London Irish manage their own academy, with players such as Nick Kennedy, Topsy Ojo and Delon Armitage having gone on to play for the senior side and be internationally capped.


London Irish play at the Madejski Stadium, in Reading. Madejski is the home of Reading FC and was opened in August 1998. The ground is a 24,161 all-seater capacity.

All London Irish home matches are played at the Madejski. The largest crowd for a London Irish match was for a game against London Wasps on 15 March 2008 during the 2007–08 Guinness Premiership. The crowd of 23,790 was also the highest attendance for a regular season Guinness Premiership match[4] until December 2008.

Current squad[edit]

2014-15 Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Michael Mayhew Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
David Paice Hooker England England
Jimmy Stevens Hooker England England
Halani Aulika Prop Tonga Tonga
Tom Court Prop Ireland Ireland
Geoff Cross Prop Scotland Scotland
Jamie Hagan Prop Ireland Ireland
Jonny Harris Prop England England
Leo Halavatau Prop Tonga Tonga
Matt Parr Prop England England
Sean Cox Lock England England
Daniel Leo Lock Samoa Samoa
Kieran Low Lock Scotland Scotland
Nic Rouse Lock England England
George Skivington (c) Lock England England
Conor Gilsenan Flanker Ireland Ireland
Tom Guest Flanker England England
Jebb Sinclair Flanker Canada Canada
Ofisa Treviranus Flanker Samoa Samoa
Blair Cowan Number 8 Scotland Scotland
Luke Narraway Number 8 England England
Player Position Union
Darren Allinson Scrum-half Wales Wales
Tomás O'Leary Scrum-half Ireland Ireland
Scott Steele Scrum-half Scotland Scotland
Shane Geraghty Fly-half England England
Chris Noakes Fly-half New Zealand New Zealand
Guy Armitage Centre England England
Myles Dorrian Centre Australia Australia
Eoin Griffin Centre Ireland Ireland
Fergus Mulchrone Centre England England
Eamonn Sheridan Centre Ireland Ireland
Alex Lewington Wing England England
Topsy Ojo Wing England England
James Short Wing England England
Andy Fenby Fullback Wales Wales


Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Ollie Adams Hooker England England
Harry Allen Hooker England England
Gerard Ellis Hooker England England
Richard Palframan Prop England England
Tom Smallbone Prop England England
Ollie Curry Lock England England
Ross Neal Lock England England
Theo Vukasinovic Lock England England
Player Position Union
Connor Murphy Scrum-half England England
Cameron Cowell Wing England England
Tom Fowlie Wing England England
Harry Lightfoot-Brown Fullback England England

Notable former players[edit]


London Irish Amateur[edit]

For more details on this topic, see London Irish Amateur.
London Irish Amateur
London Irish Amateur.jpg
Full name London Irish Amateur Rugby Football Club
Union RFU
Nickname(s) The Wild Geese[5]
Founded September 1999; 15 years ago (1999-09)[6]
Location Sunbury-on-Thames, England
Ground(s) Hazelwood
Chairman David Fitzgerald
President Alan McCartney
Captain(s) Eddie Fraher
League(s) National League 2 South
2012–13 1st (promoted)
Official website

London Irish also host London Irish Amateur RFC (a separate legal entity) for non-professionals to allow them to improve in Rugby. The team play at the location of London Irish's training ground and offices, Hazelwood in Sunbury. Some players such as Justin Bishop and Kieran Campbell have come through the ranks to play for London Irish.[7]



Digger is an Irish Wolfhound and official mascot of London Irish. He has an extremely important job of providing support to the Club.


On 30 May 2003 Digger won the "Best Mascot" award in the Zurich Premiership at the Premier Rugby Marketing Awards held at Twickenham.[8]

Charity work[edit]

On 23 April 2006, Digger ran the London Marathon raising money for Spinal Research. Digger finished the marathon in a time of 6 hours 39 minutes 31 seconds.[9]


Digger was joined by his cousin, Duggie, from the 2006/07 season. Much taller and much slower, Duggie has proved popular with younger children attending matchdays although Digger remains the Top Dog. As well as the two mascots, there is also a real Wolfhound, Mr Doyle, who also attends the home games. Before Mr Doyle there was also another Wolfhound, Jumbo, before Jumbo retired.


  • A main character in the book, The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edward D Malone, a journalist, was also a player on the London Irish and scored a try.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Madejski Stadium information". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Palmer, Bryn (16 May 2009). "Leicester 10–9 London Irish". BBC News. 
  3. ^ "London Irish 15–21 Toulouse". BBC News. 26 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "No Luck on Paddy's Day for Irish". Guinness Retrieved 16 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Wild Geese on brink of the title". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Digger Wins 'Best Mascot' Award". London Irish. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Steven Orton is fundraising for Spinal Research – JustGiving". Just Giving. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 

External links[edit]