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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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Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Union Football club the London Irish is targeting a fast start to the new season of the Premiership and he believes the first five matches of the new season will set the tone for the club’s fortunes over the season.
The Exiles managed to win only one of their first five matches last season and Smith has warned his players not to repeat the sluggish start this season as well. Smith’s side begins their Aviva Premiership campaign against Saracens FC this weekend. Speaking to a local radio station, Smith stated that the key for the club is they make a fast start to the new season.
After their first assignment against Saracens FC, the London Irish will face the likes of the Worcester Warriors, the Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby and Harlequins FC and according to Smith; the results of these matches will set the tone for the entire season for The Exiles.
According to Smith, the first five matches constitute almost a quarter of the Premiership season and a team can really set themselves up with these matches. He mentioned that provided the club can stay in touch by the time of Christmas, and then absolutely anything and everything is possible. He mentioned that the supporters and players of the club will not be happy with him saying he wants to finish in mid-table.
He stated that every club needs a proper mindset in order to win a competition; otherwise there is no reason to get up from bed at all. The London Irish finished ninth last season and they take on Saracens FC in their first match of the season, who finished top of the table after the regular season in what represents a tough start to the season for the club.