Updated: Friday, 13 December 2013 00:48 | By Agence France-Presse

New owners for London Irish

London Irish on Thursday revealed that a consortium of London-based Irish businessmen have completed a takeover of the Premiership club.


New owners for London Irish

London Irish fly-half Adrian Jarvis (left) tackles Racing Metro No8 Sebastien Chabal at the Madejeski Stadium in Reading on December 17, 2011

The group is led by president Mick Crossan and has former Exiles captain David Fitzgerald acting as interim executive chairman.

The new owners will invest substantial funds to invest in the new centre of excellence at Hazelwood and to strengthen the professional playing squad.

Director of rugby Brian Smith said the Exiles' new owners are determined to build on their Irish roots by signing more players from the Celtic nation.

"We have to be what we say we are on the tin and that means being representative of Ireland," Smith said.

Fitzgerald revealed there are no plans to move ground from Reading, where they are contracted to stay at the Madejski Stadium until 2025-26.

While stating Irish now have access to "substantial funds", he refused to embark on a spending spree to sign new players.

The club also confirmed the arrival of South Africa prop CJ van der Linde until the end of the season.

Van der Linde arrives as injury cover for Halani Aulika, who is out for the rest of the season.

"CJ is a world-class scrummager and will bring a lot of experience and composure to our pack," Smith said.

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