London Irish confirm departing players ahead of 2022/23 season

Nick Phipps has made 65 appearances for London Irish
Nick Phipps has made 65 appearances for London Irish

London Irish have announced that 20 players including former Australia scrum-half Nick Phipps will be leaving the Gallagher Premiership club at the end of the ongoing 2021/22 season.

Phipps, who has played 70 times for Australia is set to explore opportunity overseas having played for the club in 65 games during his debut in January 2019.

Fiji international Albert Tuisue will be leaving the club after playing 72 games in which he scored 25 tries. He will join the departing list along with Tonga international Steve Mafi, Scotland prop Allan Dell, South African prop Marcel van der Merwe, Rory Brand and Cillian Redmond.

Earlier, Sean O'Brien, Phil Cokanasiga, Albert Tuisue, George Nott, Terrence Hepetema had confirmed they will be leaving the club while Academy players George Davis and Theo Smerdon are retiring.

“The players departing the Club leave with our thanks for everything that they have contributed to London Irish, both on and off the field,” said London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney.

“With 37 first XV games played this season, it’s been a whole squad effort to get through over 3,000 minutes of rugby. There have been ups and downs, but this squad has stuck together through thick and thin and will come out the stronger for it. That is a testament to who they are as people, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with every one of them.

“On behalf of everyone at London Irish, I would like to wish all the best to the departing players, staff and their families for the future. Like anybody leaving London Irish, they are always welcome at the Club.”

Departing players

Senior players: Albert Tuisue, Nick Phipps, George Nott, Terrence Hepetema, Steve Mafi, Allan Dell, Seán O’Brien, Marcel van der Merwe, Phil Cokanasiga, Rory Brand, Cillian Redmond.

Injury dispensation cover: Olly Cracknell, Noel Reid, Jamie Dever, Tadgh McElroy and Alandré van Rooyen.

Academy: Theo Smerdon, Marcus Rhodes, Rory Morgan, and George Davis.