The London Irish Academy can confirm seven signings to add to the Senior Academy roster ahead of the new 2022/23 season.
Oran Murphy, Afolabi Fasogbon, Jarlath Gleeson, Ollie Allan, Oliver Stirling, Connor Cross and Jake Shortland will be welcomed into the Senior Academy set-up this summer.
Five of the seven new additions have represented their respective countries at age-grade level with all but one player a product of the London Irish Development Player Programme (DPP).
Murphy and Fasogbon are the Exiles’ two new front-row forwards, both of which are props, who have developed at Sunbury-based Bishop Wand School in recent years with the lattermost of whom joining Irish at under-15 level.
Murphy has been selected in the Ireland under-18 Schools squad as an Irish qualified player, whilst Fasogbon has been capped for England at under-18 level, making his first international involvement against Italy at Millfield School last August.
Gleeson, of City of London Freemans School, is the sole second-row forward addition who has additionally achieved international honours with Ireland’s under-18s squad.
Allan, a fellow under-18s international who made his England debut alongside teammate and fellow graduate Fasogbon last year, is Irish’s new scrum-half inclusion of Bishop Wand School.
Scotland under-18 international Stirling, a back-row forward, has advanced from the Harrow School in west London, whose alumni detail Henry Arundell.
London Irish also welcome two new exciting centres in Cross and Shortland, the former being the third of the group to be capped for England under-18s.
Cross joins from the nearby Hampton School and Shortland follows in the footsteps of previous inductee Mikey Summerfield from Hartpury College in Gloucester.
Head of Academy Patrick O’Grady gave thanks to the efforts of the new cohort and their associated schools to enable them to reach the Senior Academy.
“Foremostly, I’d like to welcome our seven boys to the London Irish Senior Academy and congratulate them for all their diligence, hard work and determination that has allowed them to reach this very rare opportunity,” O’Grady stated.
“The boys have earned their right to progress to the peak of our Academy and perhaps most pertinently their institutions too have played a crucial role in their development and maturation into a fine group of rugby players, so many thanks to them.
“Myself, the Academy staff and wider rugby department are all incredibly excited to have these players stay within our ranks, further elevate competition within the squad and are looking forward to seeing which of these boys grasp the opportunity to take the next steps in their career at London Irish.”
London Irish Senior Academy signings:
Oran Murphy – Prop
Afolabi Fasogbon – Prop
Jarlath Gleeson – Second-row
Ollie Allan – Scrum-half
Oliver Stirling – Back-row
Connor Cross – Centre
Jake Shortland – Centre