By Fiona O’Brien
London Irish are to play host to the rugby world champions as the New Zealand rugby team avail of their training facilities this week.
The All Blacks are preparing for their crunch semi-final clash against South Africa this Saturday at Twickenham, and arrived at the grounds on Tuesday.
London Irish’s new training facility at the Hazelwood Centre in Sunbury on Thames had already been assigned as the Official Team Base for Wales and Fiji for their World Cup campaign.
But with both teams’ departures from the competition, defending champions New Zealand will move from their team base at St Mary’s University and the Lensbury Club in Twickenham, to avail of London Irish’s world class facilities.
If victorious against South Africa, they will remain at the ground next week while preparing for the World Cup final against the winner of Sunday’s semi-final between Australia and Argentina.
A source at the club said: “This is another impressive accolade for the training facility. It is great for the club to host the world champions, who look favourites to defend their title over the next fortnight.”
The news comes as London Irish Rugby Club announced a series of measures to bring the club back to the heart of the London Irish community.
At an event at the Irish embassy last week, they launched their Business Alliance to bring business networking opportunities and community to the forefront of the club once again.
More info about the team on London Irish website
Check out our article on the London Irish Rugby Business Alliance.