London Irish have been dropped by sponsors Cash Converters following the club’s decision to sign fly-half Paddy Jackson.
Jackson has been one of a number of signings by the club who hope to stay up next season following their promotion to the Premiership.
The former Ulster player’s contract was terminated by the Irish province and the IRFU after he was acquitted in a rape trial last year.
However, their sponsors have decided that they can no longer associate themselves with the club due to the incident that Jackson was involved in.
“As a company, we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations. As a result of a detailed and thorough review of our support for London Irish, we have decided to discontinue our association with the club,” they said on Twitter.
The company buys and sells second-hand goods and only signed a three-year sponsorship deal with London Irish in September of last year but will not be involved anymore due to the values that they stand for.
“Our sponsorships and collaborations are incredibly important to us and we always strive to partner with companies who reflect our ethos and values. After careful consideration and a detailed analysis of our support for London Irish, we have decided to discontinue our association with the club. We would like to wish London Irish good luck with their future endeavours and thank their fans for welcoming our company since 2018,” a spokesperson for the company said to RugbyPass.
The company will continue to sponsor both rugby league side St Helens and Scottish Premiership football team Motherwell.
The signing of Jackson was always going to be controversial with fans being the first to show discontent when many threatened to boycott games on social media and used the #IBelieveHer hashtag associated with the trial in 2018.
Irish will now have to cope with one less sponsor as the backlash continues from their signing.
Update: London Irish have since come out and stated that ‘Cash Converters’ decision to no longer sponsor the club was made prior to announcement of signings made in May.
Bristol to Miss Out on Genge
Bristol Bears were reportedly interested in bringing Ellis Genge back to the club, but they seem set to be pipped to his signature by another Premiership side
A former Bears academy player, Genge was set to be on the radar of director of rugby Pat Lam as he looks to strengthen his forward pack.
The 24-year-old moved to Leicester from Bristol in 2016 due to off-field reasons, with an initial loan move turning permanent and he his grown ever since.
He has gone on to make a total of 14 appearances for England and was a part of their squad that made it to the Rugby World Cup final last month, gaining many admirrors along the way.
It is a big blow for Bristol who look short in the front-row and are looking to bring in further talent after confirming the arrival of Fijian star Semi Radradra come the end of the season, as well as getting Charles Piutau to sign on to a new contract.
However, despite the prospect of an incredible back-line, Lam wants an improved pack. As well as the disappointment of missing out on Genge, it would come as a bit of a smack in the face that he is choosing a team currently ranked second-last in the Premiership, while Bristol appear set for a real charge at the title.
Meanwhile, it would be a massive boost to Leicester as they try to stay up in England’s top division.
Saints Eye Another Fijian Star
Fresh after announcing the arrival of Sam Matavesi Northampton Saints are set to land another Fijian ace according to reports
Northampton Saints look set to sign Fijian front-rower Eroni Mawi according to RugbyPass.
The Premiership side confirmed the signing of his international teammate Sam Matavesi and now appear close to agreeing the signing of the 23-year-old loosehead.
The English side have been able to add players to their squad in the middle of the season due to the retirements of both club captain Dylan Hartley and Heinrich Brussow with a major space in the salary cap opening up with their departures.
If Mawi becomes a Saints player he will have to fight for his place in the side with captain Alex Waller currently occupying the loosehead position in the squad, with back-up from both Francois van Wyk and Toby Trinder.
Having been available since the end of the World Cup Mawi has been playing in Australia for the Fijian Drua outfit and this would be a big step-up for the youngster.
It would also add to Northampton’s Fijian presence in their pack with Api Ratuniyarawa already in the squad.
Bristol Star Signs Contract Extension
Last week Bristol secured the services of one of the world’s most exciting players and today they have confirmed that one of their key men will be staying on too
The deal sees him extend his stay with the club until at least 2022, which is an exciting prospect for fans who have seen him dominate the league over the past year, scoring six tries in eleven appearances for the Bears last season.
However, he is only getting better it seems having already made a total of 551 metres in five games and beating 24 defenders in that time, both chart-topping stats.
The news follows last weeks’ announcement that Fijian star Semi Radradra will join the club next season and the thought of the two linking up will have fans watering at the mouth.
Speaking on the extension Piutau has admitted that he had no hesitation to put pen to paper as he is loving life in Bristol.
“My family and I are loving our time in Bristol and it was an easy decision to stay. There’s a brilliant environment and a group of boys who are all giving everything for the jersey and the community. It’s always an honour to play alongside my brother (Siale Piutau) and to represent the Bears in front of the awesome fans at Ashton Gate. Pat Lam has been a massive influence on my career and I’m loving my rugby here. There’s a collective belief that we can win silverware if we continue to keep moving forward and I’m excited about the future at Bristol,” he said.
Meanwhile, the club’s director of rugby Pat Lam is delighted to have the 28-year-old continue on and is impressed with how he has taken to life in Bristol.
“Charles is an outstanding team man and a world-class talent. He has the ability to create opportunities out of nothing for the team, so we are delighted that he has committed to the Bears and our vision. What has been most pleasing is how enthusiastic Charles is about the Bears, his team-mates and the city. He applied for, and was appointed to, the role of community leader in the player leadership group this season, which underlines how much he cares about the community,” he said.
While fans may be excited for the next couple of years, Lam couldn’t hide his own excitement at the combinations of players that Bristol will have come next season.
“On the field, Charles brings an invaluable attacking threat, but also a calm head and a wealth of experience. His game understanding and leadership at the back brings a lot of comfort to his team-mates and it has allowed a lot of the young players around him to flourish. To be able to select a Bristol backline next season that will combine world-class talents such as Charles Piutau, Semi Radradra and Luke Morahan alongside a host of young, English talent shows the exciting direction and growth that we are showing as a team,” he added.
It is a major boost for the Bears who have started this season well and are building towards something special come next season.
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