Relegated London Irish have said that their fans “deserve better” as the team face into another fresh year of Championship rugby.
Earlier in the day the BBC reported that London Irish chief executive Brian Facer also believes that a two league system would better suit the Premiership going forward.
In a statement released this afternoon, the club wrote: “Following the conclusion of this weekend’s Round 21 Aviva Premiership fixtures, it has been confirmed that London Irish will be playing in the Championship next season.
“Everyone at Hazelwood – players, management and off-field staff alike are extremely disappointed that the 2017/18 campaign has ended in the way that it has, and we apologise to our supporters that we will again find ourselves in the Championship next season.
“While this season has been very challenging, our supporters have been a shining light and have continued to underline why they are the best supporters in the country with their unwavering support both at home and on the road. We thank them for their tremendous support during trying times.
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RugbyPass caught up with London Irish in February:
“They deserve better, and we are committed to making London Irish one of the leading clubs in England, a position we enjoyed less than a decade ago. London Irish’s vision for the future is to compete at the top end of the Gallagher Premiership and to be challenging for European honours, and we believe the building blocks are in place to achieve these objectives.
“It is fair to say that we have learned some valuable lessons over recent years and we will be doing everything to ensure immediate progress and sustainability for the future. With Declan Kidney and Les Kiss in charge, we have international coaches that can take us to the next level and beyond.
“Our squad next season will be a group that cannot just win the Championship but be the core of a successful team in the future too.
“London Irish prides itself on its thriving academy, which continues to produce some of the best young players in the country. Our world class training facilities at Hazelwood are the envy of clubs throughout Europe.
“Mick Crossan remains as committed as ever as our owner and is dedicated to London Irish combining success on the field with the rich traditions and values that have been at the heart of the club since its formation 120 years ago.
“Our aim for 2018/19 is simple – we must win the Championship, and nothing less will do. It will be a journey with its challenges, and we are under no illusions that every other team in the league will be wanting to beat us.
“Nevertheless, we are excited by the longer-term future and the announcements that will be made over the coming weeks and months.
“We hope that all our supporters will continue to join us on our journey at the Madejski Stadium next season.”
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