As the clock ticks down to London Irish's opening fixture at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday, the 'Exile' matchday programme team caught up with President and Owner, Mick Crossan, earlier this week for his 'From The Boardroom' column.
Ahead of the free-to-download digital programme going live on Saturday, we wanted to give you - the Exile Nation fan-base - the opportunity to hear exclusively from our Owner, so here's his matchday programme musings ahead of the visit of Leicester Tigers this weekend.
Today is a truly historic day for London Irish rugby club – our first match back in town in London, at the incredible Brentford Community Stadium.
It is a real pinch me moment for me personally.
I was born in West London to Irish parents. I firmly tell people that I am London Irish. I'm proud to have been born in this country and I'm proud to have Irish heritage.
I can't even begin to tell you what it means for me to be leading this club into this new chapter in London – it really is a dream come true.
The stadium is incredible – from its position in West London, to the transport links, to the design of the bowl. The facilities are truly unbelievable – the changing rooms, the bars, the concession areas; it’s all absolutely perfect.
There’s honestly not a bad seat in the house. It's a perfect place to enjoy watching rugby, have the craic and make memories of a lifetime.
Every time I've been to the stadium, be it for a tour of the facilities or to watch the guys train, the hairs on the back of my neck have stood up. It really is an incredible stadium and it will be brilliant to watch top-flight rugby here.
Of course, today is tinged with sadness, knowing you – the Exile Nation family – aren't able to be with us as the country continues to navigate its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s such a shame, it really is, but this is only a temporary stumbling block and I can’t wait to see you all here as soon as it’s safe to do so.
On such an historic day, it would be remiss of me not to thank our friends at Brentford Football Club.
Good friendships have already arisen in the time we've been working with Brentford – and I’m excited about those relations continuing to grow as both clubs build for a bright future together in this wonderful new stadium.
I can't wait to make new memories in the Brentford Community Stadium with all our amazing supporters. That time will come soon and believe me, it will be worth the wait.
Come on Irish!