RUGBY: London Welsh get boost in bid to move to Kassam Stadium

London Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips

London Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

THE prospect of Premiership rugby coming to the Kassam Stadium has strengthened after London Welsh received an encouraging audit from the Professional Game Board.

Only minor issues with the ground were raised in the report, which was filed earlier this week, clearing a major hurdle in plans for a ground-share with Oxford United.

The Exiles’ home at Old Deer Park in Richmond does not satisfy the criteria for top flight rugby, so the club are looking for an alternative – and Oxford has now emerged as the front-runner.

Chairman Bleddyn Phillips is optimistic the off-field technicalities would be handled by London Welsh and the Kassam Stadium, if they can win their two-legged Championship play-off this month.

He said: “We have the small matter of beating Cornish Pirates, but if we were to do that and satisfy the criteria, then bringing top-flight rugby to the area would be a great thing.

“There are a few things (in the audit) as you would expect, but let’s just say the matters identified were ones I think we could address without too much difficulty.

“We will do all we can in all respects – if we are successful on the pitch I would make sure we can do it.”

London Welsh have chosen to hold their ‘home’ leg of the final at the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday, May 30, which will be televised live on Sky.

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