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'We've spent millions to achieve nothing': Discontent over London Irish swelling

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

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After falling short 21-16 to the undefeated Leicester Tigers in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership, the Exiles’ winless streak continued.

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London Irish haven’t won a game yet this season, losing three and drawing one, continuing a 10-game winless streak extending back to last season. The loss lead head coach Len Kiss to admit the squad was ‘the most despondent we’ve been’ after a game this season.

The Irish were in the game as the Tigers trailed 16-12 inside the last quarter but a resurgent Leicester side took back the lead on the back of three penalties to England flyhalf George Ford.

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The Exiles have recruited heavily to bring firepower to the club in recent seasons since gaining promotion back in 2019, bringing in internationals such as Waisake Naholo, Nick Phipps, Adam Coleman, Paddy Jackson, Curtis Rona, Sekope Kepu, Sean O’Brien, Agustin Creevy, Rob Simmons and Allan Dell.

Many of those players lasted just a season or two as the Irish battled for regular wins and that trend has continued in 2021 despite still having enough talent on the books.

Fans were vocal on Twitter about the situation, becoming as despondent as the playing squad as ill discipline cost the side once again. One fan wrote ‘we’ve spent millions to achieve nothing’ about the club’s high-profile signing sprees, while another wrote ‘you get our hopes up to then dash them’.

Another was ‘lost for words’ as the fans were left questioning the approach of head coach Len Kiss and Director of Rugby Declan Kidney.

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Kiss was confident the side would bounce back soon, stating deep down they know they are in a ‘pretty good place’ despite it being a despondent dressing room. He predicted the club will come out of it.

“It’s a very despondent dressing room, we don’t like feeling like we feel at the moment, that’s for sure,” he explained.

“However, we’ve got to find some gems in it and we will. We know we will find those gems.

“We know we’re in a pretty good place, this team is committed to what we know is just round the corner but we’ve just got to stay hard, disciplined and focus on what we’re good at.

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“This season, for sure, it’s the most despondent we’ve been. This was in front of 8,000 or 9,000 fans – the best crowd for a while and they were right behind us.

“That makes it equally a sad dressing room but these boys are resilient. They work hard and we’ve just got to trust that what we’re about is the right direction, and it is. We will come out of it.”

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