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London Irish Apply To Leave Reading FC's Madesjki Stadium

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A 16 year association with the rugby union outfit is looking ever-more likely to come to an end as the Exiles apply to leave in 2019.

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Brentford stole three points off Reading just over a week ago and now it appears that they want to steal the town's adopted rugby team. That's certainly one way of putting it as London Irish launch a formal application to be housed in the Bees' new stadium, when it opens in 2019.

Now a Championship side, Irish are experiencing dwindling attendances as it becomes economically untenable to remain in Berkshire, especially given their natural association with the capital. As such, they began discussions with Hounslow local council last month and have made their intentions official.

For the Royals, there will inevitably be a number of fans delighted to see the pitch solely dedicated to football although the most common reason for issues with the grass tends to be largely bad weather based, no doubt supplemented by the ground-chewing nature of rugby. However, Reading will lose revenue that cannot be easily replaced, although again the dwindling cash flow of London Irish made this an inevitability, of sorts, anyway.

It's worth remembering that rugby has almost always been a feature of the Madesjki Stadium, be it with Richmond in 1998 or the Exiles since 2000, and will continue to do so for at least a couple more years.

Happy to see the back of London Irish, or sorely missed? Comment below.