London Irish target Donnacha Ryan after Ulster prop Tom Court joins club

Exiles decline to confirm interest in Munster secondrow

Munster’s Donnacha Ryan: reports suggest the secondrow may well move to the Exiles. Photograph: Inpho

Munster’s Donnacha Ryan: reports suggest the secondrow may well move to the Exiles. Photograph: Inpho

 

Reports in Britain claim London Irish are now targeting Ireland’s Donnacha Ryan after Ulster prop Tom Court announced he would play in the Madejski Stadium next season.

The club has been taken over by a consortium headed by Irish businessman Mick Crossan, chairman of recycling and waste management company Powerday, who have been the team’s headline sponsor since 2011.

Irish players
The company also employs former Irish secondrow and London Irish captain Bob Casey.

Based in London, Crossan regularly attends fixtures at the Madejski and is expected to begin a recruitment drive to reaffirm the club’s Irish identity.

London Irish declined to comment yesterday on whether they were targeting the Munster secondrow Ryan.

Ian Humphries, Jamie Hagan, and Eamon Sheridan are already in London Irish with Ulster prop Court also signed up.

“We clearly want an Irish connection,” said a spokesperson last night adding that with players out of contract they may look at the Irish market

Ground decision
One of the big issues for the new owners will be whether to move away from their home at Madejski Stadium.

The Exiles have been playing at Reading FC’s ground since 2000 but have struggled to fill the 24,161-capacity venue, registering an average attendance of just over 9,000 last season.

Irish are currently six years into a contract that lasts until the end of the 2025-2026 season.