London Irish have been very busy over the past couple of weeks recruiting ahead of their return to the Premiership next season.
Declan Kidney’s side have secured the services of All Black Waisake Naholo, Australia international Adam Coleman and former Ireland international Paddy Jackson to go alongside the likes of Nick Phipps and Sean O’Brien who signed a few months ago.
However, the fear with signings like these is that it would oust the current crop of players that have earned promotion this season. This happened with London Welsh a few seasons ago where they released a huge host of players after getting promoted. It did not pay off, and it equally did not prove to be a popular decision amongst fans.
Therefore, the Exiles have made a great move in re-signing Conor Gilsenan and Lovejoy Chawatama ahead of next season. The flanker Gilsenan and prop Chawatama have been important members of the Irish squad this season, and many fans on Twitter are glad to see them stay with the club.
It would be unfair to release a huge portion of their squad, and these Irish players deserve to stay at the club.
Not only are the fans glad to see two popular figures remain at the Madejski Stadium, but it will give the squad some depth which will complement the stars that are incoming. This is what the fans have said:
Fantastic news, one thing having a first class 15, makes all the difference having lads like this to make it a top squad as well.
— Aidan (@AidanEllicott) May 15, 2019
Top lads. Both always give 100% ?
— Dave Hawkes (@davetvt1) May 15, 2019
Brilliant news ??
— Bryan Monument (@BryanMonument) May 15, 2019
Great to see you are with us for the long haul gents!
— Matt Merritt (@MattMerritt) May 15, 2019
Great to see these two great characters resigned. https://t.co/xQ5EHy8u0q
— James O'Riley (@jr_oriley) May 15, 2019
London Irish look to be a team that are not simply happy to survive in the Premiership next season, they want to become a force again. They have rampantly signed a wealth of international stars to do this, but retaining their current squad will also be integral to the cohesion of the team.
Irish may be striking a good balance here between the old and the new, and can look forward to a successful campaign.
WATCH: A blast from the past behind the scenes look at London Irish by RugbyPass when the club was last in the Premiership
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