New academy forwards coach Jonathan Fisher says the opportunity to return to London Irish was too good to turn down.

Fisher, 28, spent six seasons as a London Irish player and represented England against the Barbarians in 2015. 

Now focused on developing the next generation at the Exiles’ Hazelwood training complex, the former Wellington College pupil is enthused by his new challenge.

“I’ve learnt a huge amount during my time as a player and it’s time for me to give a huge amount back,” said Fisher.

“I’m really looking forward to contributing to London Irish’s academy and my aim is to produce Premiership level forwards for the first team.

“I can already see some exciting talent coming through and the supporters should know that the future of the London Irish pack is looking very good.”

Arriving at the club’s state of the art Hazelwood training base, Fisher says that he is impressed with the academy structure.

“Our academy is in a very good place and I’m incredibly inspired by the whole set-up,” said the Kingston-born coach.

“Patrick O’Grady, Richard Pryor and James Lightfoot-Brown make-up a very good academy coaching team and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join them.

“The senior management team also keep a close eye on the development of our academy which is fantastic.

“Only yesterday morning, senior academy player Jacob Atkins was doing extras with new kicking coach Charlie Hodgson. Charlie is a world class operator and his work with the senior academy is invaluable for the development of our youngsters.”

Fisher is also impressed by the Hazelwood training centre.

“I wasn’t lucky enough to train at Hazelwood when I was at London Irish, I was based at the Avenue and the new facilities hadn’t been built. Hazelwood is a great place to come to work and as a young coach looking to cut his teeth in the game, London Irish is the perfect place to be.”

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