RUGBY UNION: London Welsh agree new three-year deal to play at Kassam Stadium

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh agree new three-year deal to play at Kassam Stadium

London Welsh step out at the Kassam Stadium for their first match in the Aviva Premiership against Leicester Tigers last season. The club have agreed a new three-year deal to stay at the ground, and are targeting an immediate return to the top-flight

London Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

LONDON Welsh will groundshare with Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium for a further three seasons after signing a new contract.

The Exiles say the deal confirms their long-term commitment to play in Oxfordshire as they push for promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.

It also means Welsh will not move to the Witney Community Stadium, despite having planning permission for the site.

“The Kassam Stadium is an excellent facility with a great pitch and very popular with the players,” said Exiles chairman Bleddyn Phillips.

“We are delighted to be in a position to be able to confirm the club’s commitment to Oxfordshire with the signing of this agreement.

“With the team having secured its place in the Championship semi-finals these are exciting times for both the club and for Oxfordshire generally, in the realm of rugby.

“The club is committed to establishing itself as a Premiership club and this is a very important step in that direction.”

Welsh moved to the Kassam Stadium after being promoted to the Premiership in 2012, but following relegation last year, they considered playing elsewhere.

Phillips stated at the time that it would be “financially imprudent” to stay at the Kassam Stadium unless their rent was reduced.

After plenty of negotiations, the Exiles signed a deal for the 2013-14 season, but have seen low crowds in the Greene King IPA Championship, with 1,821 their biggest gate.

Welsh say the deal will boost their community programme, which reaches more than 3,000 young people in Oxfordshire schools and clubs.

However, despite having floated the idea of an Oxfordshire training base, Phillips said Welsh’s squad “will continue to work and train” at Old Deer Park next season.

Kassam Stadium general manager Michael Doyle said: “This is very exciting for people in Oxfordshire.

“The last two seasons have shown that rugby and football can co-exist very happily and the investments that both Welsh and Oxford United have made have meant we have a playing surface even better than many single sport facilities.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:23am Fri 4 Apr 14

BigAlBiker says...

Poxy egg chasers, leave the stadium and never return, all you do is wreck the pitch.
Poxy egg chasers, leave the stadium and never return, all you do is wreck the pitch. BigAlBiker
  • Score: -3

11:51am Fri 4 Apr 14

disco80 says...

BigAlBiker wrote:
Poxy egg chasers, leave the stadium and never return, all you do is wreck the pitch.
Does it really matter about the pitch with the rubbish we play mate.
[quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: Poxy egg chasers, leave the stadium and never return, all you do is wreck the pitch.[/p][/quote]Does it really matter about the pitch with the rubbish we play mate. disco80
  • Score: 8

12:10pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Bicester1962 says...

At least there will now be a game worth watching there.
At least there will now be a game worth watching there. Bicester1962
  • Score: 5

1:47pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Mark L says...

Happily?

You haven't looked at Twitter and bothered to gauge LOCAL opinions?

GET OUT WE DONT WANT/NEED YOU!
Happily? You haven't looked at Twitter and bothered to gauge LOCAL opinions? GET OUT WE DONT WANT/NEED YOU! Mark L
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Fri 4 Apr 14

hawkeye1 says...

And so the GREEDY, MONEY grabbing LEACH will be laughing all the way to the bank as usual.
And so the GREEDY, MONEY grabbing LEACH will be laughing all the way to the bank as usual. hawkeye1
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree