By Damian Dolan
In the week that Jonathan Joseph became the latest bright young thing to leave London Irish, the club unveiled its new state-of-the new £10m training facility at Hazelwood Golf Course, Sunbury-on-Thames.
Just a couple of Ian Humphreys’ touch finders from the club’s existing home at The Avenue, the playing squad and club staff were taken through the features of the new facility by London Irish chief executive Andy Martin and the club’s architects.
Although a great deal of imagination was required to visualise just how the site will eventually look, it’s an exciting project and once completed and open for business in the summer of 2014 will rival anything in the Aviva Premiership.
The exit of Joseph to link up with former Exiles head coach Toby Booth, however, continues the Sunbury exodus, with fellow England international Alex Corbisiero already confirmed as heading to Northampton.
Following the big name departures of Delon and Steffon Armitage, Nick Kennedy, Paul Hodgson, Seilala Mapusua and Bob Casey (retirement) the concern for the club’s supporters is that development off the pitch could be coming at the expense of investment in the playing squad. It’s a suggestion Martin denies.
For more see this week’s print edition of the Irish World