Reading are one step closer to having the Madejski Stadium all to themselves, as London Irish's proposed move to Brentford was seemingly given the green light last night.
The rugby club had been in discussions with London Borough of Hounslow since August, exploring the possibility of playing at the Brentford Community Stadium, which is projected to open in 2019.
According to a supporters' club, the application was approved last night, with the official Twitter account of the stadium confirming this:
@LISCRugby What you're hearing is correct.— BrentfordCS (@BrentfordCS) February 9, 2017
Update: Both London Irish RFC and Brentford FC have now confirmed that the planning application for rugby to be played at the new stadium has indeed been accepted.
London Irish are currently in the Championship following relegation last season, but do sit top of the table, so could very well be back in the Premiership for 2017-18. They have been playing at the Madejski Stadium since 2000, and did in fact have a contract until 2026, but a get out close will allow the deal to be broken. Even before 2000, rugby was still a regular fixture at the Mad Stad, with Richmond Rugby club calling it their home before the Exiles arrived.
Jaap Stam has had a few complaints about the state of the pitch in recent weeks, so it is news that he will be happy to here, whilst for the STAR perspective on the situation, have a read of Roger Titford's piece from October.