As the celebrations continue in Munster, another more distant relative of Irish Rugby is facing what may well be the last day of a 125 year history.
London Irish need to have finalised a takeover and provided guarantees of funding to the Rugby Football Union by the end of today or they will be suspended from next season’s Premiership and effectively put out of business.
Owner Mick Crossan met last months wages but has indicated that a financial investment is needed to carry on and two weeks ago the RFU set today as the final deadline for proof that this was coming.
Last season both Wasps and Worcester were kicked out of the League mid-season and the Premiership and the RFU have set themselves the target of avoiding that scenario with the additional impact felt by other clubs.
On the field they had a good season, finishing fifth in the Premiership and making it to the Round of 16 in the Heineken Champions Cup but the financial woes have refused to go away. This was their best season since finishing third in the Premiership in 2006.
For the last few seasons they have played their games at Brentford’s GTech Community Stadium, bringing them back closer to their original roots in West London. before that they had played in Reading at the Madjeski Stadium.
London Irish players have been making arrangements to secure their own futures away from the club with Tom Pearson, the Rugby Players Young Player of the Season, and Henry Arundell who made his England debut against Ireland in the Six Nations towards the top of the list.
Paddy Jackson is also among those who will be looking for employment, along with former ireland Head Coach Declan Kidney who is the current Director of Rugby at the club.
There is still a chance of survival but if the club joins Wasps and Worcester in being excluded from the top flight, that would leave a League of ten for the 2023/24 season, and a continued dark shadow hanging over the club game in England.