London Irish get licence to play at Brentford's proposed new stadium

London Irish in Championship action
London Irish currently play their home games at Reading's Madejski Stadium

London Irish's return to the capital appears a step closer after their application to play at Brentford FC's proposed new stadium was approved.

Hounslow Borough Council met on Thursday to consider a rugby licence for the Lionel Road site.

Brentford hope to leave their Griffin Park home and move to the 20,000-capacity stadium in August 2019.

"The council's decision is very encouraging news for London Irish," Irish chief executive Bob Casey said.

RFU Championship club Irish play their home games at Reading's Madejski Stadium, and are contracted to groundshare until the 2025-26 season.

But a get-out clause can allow the deal to break early, so they can move to west London. Negotiations were opened in September with the council.

"The ability for a professional rugby club to also play at the new Brentford Community Stadium has always been a desire of the football club," Casey said.

"London Irish share common values and a community ethos with Brentford FC, which augers well for a future commercial relationship."

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