Good afternoon and a belated Happy New Year to one and all!
First, huge congratulations to Ollie Hassell-Collins for his call up to the England training squad ahead of the 6 Nations Championship. Head Coach Eddie Jones has clearly been impressed by Ollie’s extraordinary acceleration, and at 6ft 3” he is solid under the high ball.
Likewise, congratulations to Ben White and Kyle Rowe, for their call-up to the Scotland training squad. Both men have put in impressive performances since joining the club and it has not gone unnoticed by Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend. We wish all three the best of luck with their campaigns.
The BCS stadium is finally starting to feel like home, and it is encouraging to see the crowd numbers slowly growing match by match.
We have had some great wins of late, and the close finishes have certainly added to the atmosphere in the ground. The last gasp, one point win against Edinburgh in the cup, certainly got my old ticker beating!
The journey to the ground is starting to feel a bit easier, though the continual work on the M4 is tiresome, likewise SW Railways engineering works. Just a factor of modern-day life I suppose.
The teething problems with the new ticketing company also seem to be sorted, making entry to the ground a lot easier, whether using the London Irish app (do download it if you have not already, there are some nifty new features) or the plastic cards which I personally find easier than faffing around with my phone!
We are still trying to drum up more members for the supporters club, and for the modest fee of just £10 per season, there really are many great reasons to join us!
For example, membership gives entry to member-only events such as quiz nights, meet the ref or meet the coaches, opportunities to win stadium hospitality packages, and the playing shirts of the players sponsored by The Wolfhounds.
Members also receive regular copies of the Exile Files e-zine, membership mementos and much more, for example, we are now far more active in meeting up with other club fan groups both at home and away matches.
Finally, my programme notes would not be complete without my regular shout out for more committee members. We are a fun bunch but could do with some help! Let us know by dropping us a line via the website.
Enjoy the game!
Jerry Browne, Chairman