London Irish Appoint Edwards

Shaun Edwards, the defense coach of the Wales Rugby Team is set to take over at Aviva Premiership side the London Irish as their head coach after the Grand Slam winners return from their tour of Australia at the end of June.

The news of Edwards taking over at the helm of The Exiles comes in the wake of the departures of Justin Bishop, Toby Booth and Neal Hatley from the club. Edwards will continue to serve in his capacity as the defense coach of the Welsh team but under the clause of his contract, he will be allowed to spend a day a week with the Irish.

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The Director of Rugby for the Aviva Premiership side the London Irish Brian Smith expects the players in his team to show the same kind of passion and determination that they showed in the match against the Leicester Tigers when they take on Exeter Chiefs this week.

The Exiles made a late effort in the match against the Tigers when almost everyone present in the ground thought them to be dead and buried but they rallied from a huge deficit to cut down the lead.

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London Irish will face Harlequins on Saturday at the Stoop. Harlequins will be boosted by the return of their very important player Matt Hopper who was busy with his England Saxons duty.

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Garvey debuts for England Saxons

Matt Garvey is a 24-year-old London Irish player. He covers the second-row forward position and the cap for Saturday's England Saxons rugby team has surprised him. He mentions that he wasn't even drafted for his own county to find himself now debuting for England's second national rugby team.

The Saxons clash with Ireland Wolfhounds, the second Irish national team, at Exter this Saturday. Garvey's excellent appearances for London Irish recommended him for the Saxons team.

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Steven Shingler lined up for London Irish against Cardiff in the Heineken Cup this weekend after a frustrating week as his international eligibility has been the hot topic in Rugby all week.

Shingler has been the centre of the row between Wales and Scotland over who he has the right to play for.

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London Irish’s inconsistent season took another twist with their heaviest defeat in the league since May 2006. The Exiles went down by 30 points to 3 against an off form Bath team. Irish now sit sixth in the league but have again dropped points in a game they would have expected to at least pick up a losing bonus point.

Irish were outclassed all over the pitch, with Bath particularly dominating in the forwards. It took 16 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, but once it was, through a converted Stephen Donald try, Bath never looked back and the Irish were never in contention.

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Toby Booth has given his vision for the future of his London Irish team, hinting that he will aim for a smaller group of players for their campaign next season. With playing budgets for next season currently being set and focus already being at least partly switched to next season Booth knows where he sees the Exiles short term future.

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London Irish have signed the young row forward Edward Siggery on a professional contract. Siggery, 19, who came through the ranks at Scarlets Academy, is currently at the Junior World Championships with the Wales Under-20 side.

He told the club website: "Quite a few young lads at the club made a big impact last season and I hope to do the same next season."

Academy manager Neil Hatley added: "Ed will be a good addition to our squad for next season."

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London Irish have moved in to sign the All Blacks second row Bryn Evans in a major coup. The 26-year-old lock, who also plays for Hawke's Bay in New Zealand's domestic provincial competition, has signed a two-year deal.

"I am looking forward to testing myself against a different opposition in a different club competition," he said.

"The chance to play in the Heineken Cup against the best teams in Europe is also a very exciting prospect."

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London Irish centre Dan Bowden has said that he is finding it difficult to concentrate on rugby as his native New Zealand has been affected by earthquake.

Bowden, who lived in Christchurch before moving to the Exiles, said it had been a worrying time for him.

He told BBC Berkshire: "I didn't hear from my cousins for 24 hours so it's hard not to think the worst.

"That put rugby on the back-burner mentally, but it was a relief to get a game and think about something else."



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