By Damian Dolan.
Whatever the debate surrounding where London Irish should be playing its rugby, when Jamie Hagan came off the bench in the second half of the club’s recent Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester, it took the number of Irish qualified players on the pitch wearing green to five.
Of course, such a figure would have been scoffed at in decades gone by as something to trumpet, but by recent standards this season has certainly being a step in the right direction for those who wish to see the club return to its Irish roots on the playing front.
At the unveiling of the club’s new owner, Mick Crossan, director of rugby Brian Smith called for London Irish to be ‘representative of the Irish community’ and it clearly wasn’t just words. Irish are backing it up with action.
Hagan’s (ex-Leinster] introduction saw him join forces with seasoned campaigners Ian Humphreys and Tomas O’Leary, as well as the highly rated centre pairing of Eamonn Sheridan (ex-Leinster) and Fergus Mulchrone, who both joined the club in the summer from Championship side Rotherham Titans.
For more see this week’s editon of the Irish World.