Exiles up for "Craic in the Valley"
July 11, 2000

London Irish have announced six new signings for next season's campaign.

Flanker Colin Allen from Northampton; Hooker Dinos Alexopoulos from Wasps; Flanker Richard Bates and Wing Graham Haley from Natal; Flanker Eddie Halvey from Munster; and Centre Matt Oliver from Leeds have all put pen to paper.

Director of Rugby Dick Best said: "The strength of the squad continues to grow with the addition of these talented players and negotiations are continuing with a number of other players.

"By the start of next season I expect to have a squad with at least ten full internationals among the first choice XV."

There have been numerous players connected with possible moves to London Irish recently, and although undoubtedly capable, the six that have been announced are not established stars.

"These new signings are not in their own right big names, but one of the key values in sport as far as I'm concerned is a big heart

"All of the players that are joining have huge hearts and are determined to make London Irish one of the top teams in European Rugby"

Tuesday's press conference was held at the Madejski Stadium in Reading where the Exiles will play their home games this coming season.

In an effort to transfer the infamous atmosphere from the Avenue, and latterly the Stoop, previous homes of the club, substantial rebranding will take place, making match day the "Craic in the Valley".

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