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Scottish international tight head prop Geoff Cross has confirmed he will swap the Pro 12 for the Aviva Premiership after signing a two year deal with the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish, the English club has announced.
The 31 year old has had a long stint with Scottish club Edinburgh and has made 130 appearances for the club, scoring six tries in the process as well.
He has also earned 28 caps for the Scotland Rugby Team and was also selected to be a part of the Scotland squad for the recently concluded Six Nations Championships where he was given two starts. And speaking about his capture, Brian Smith, the head coach of the London Irish stated that it is good that they have managed to capture a player of the experience as well as talents of Cross.
He is a player who has loads of international experience under his belt and he was also one of the star performers for the Scottish side which did very poorly at the Six Nations recently. Moreover, he is also a genuine tight head prop and this means, the fight for a starting place in the forward positions will increase manifolds for the Exiles next season.
And Brian Smith believes this competition for places will be great as the side targets a strong run in the Premiership with the hope of securing qualification to the Heineken Cup as well as making it to the playoff places for the Premiership.
Cross mentioned that moving south to play for the London Irish comes as a fantastic chance for him and having met Smith and discussed the future of the club, he can’t wait to get started although he admitted it was a difficult decision to leave Edinburgh after so many years.
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Over the past couple of season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish has been at the wrong end of a player exodus, leading to several key players leaving the club owing to a perceived lack of ambition on behalf of the club. And now, Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the club has admitted that the team must now allow such a mass exodus of players for the betterment of the club.
The London club was recently injected with fresh investment after Mick Crossan, the chief of Powerday led a boardroom revolution with the waste management mogul promising several millions in cash to develop the club into the one of the contenders for the English domestic title.
And Smith believes this new direction the club has undertaken has already been underpinned with a couple of key players signing new deals to remain with the club.
Smith, a former attacks coach for the England national team, stated that one would like to think that these things would not happen again, adding that the London Irish learnt from their experience last season and in terms of finances, they are stable and secure for the long term future and can negotiate with key players to extend their contracts.
He mentioned that one of the main reasons for a player or a coach to leave a club is because they think it’s not ambitious enough for him. He mentioned that it is something that is often seen in football and rugby players observe their behavior because football is the biggest game in England by a margin.
But the London Irish is hopeful the new board will turn things around and get some of the biggest names to commit their futures to the club as they look to be competitive
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Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish rued the club’s growing list of injury woes as his side fell to a 20-11 defeat at the hands of the reigning champions the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road over the weekend.
To compound his squad’s injury problems, hooker David Paice had to be taken off towards the end of the first half with what is being suspected as a broken arm. To add insult to injury, several others of the first team squad sustained injuries during the defeat to the Tigers.
On the injury sustained by his star hooker, Smith stated that a broken arm is probably one of the hardest things to take, adding that it was like pouring salt into a wound.
The London Irish went on to add that the team has picked up quite a few injuries and they have to work out how to handle things now. He went on to add that Marland Yarde made a really big save for them to prevent a try that kept his side in the game, adding that they held on to it as a team for another five or ten minutes but he has also sustained an injury on his quad.
Moreover, James O’Connor has also pulled up a muscle and he also looks in doubt for next weekend.
Speaking of the match, Smith maintained that he was proud of the way his boys fought it out against the champions in a match they were expected to be mauled but that was hardly the case and the Tigers had to put all their energy into it to get a result from the resilient London Irish side.
But he acknowledged that the Leicester Tigers deserved the win on the whole.
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