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Premiership Rugby Statement

Premiership Rugby wishes to express its great sadness following the news of the death of David Fitzgerald who was until very recently Chairman of London Irish and a member of the Premiership Rugby Board.

David steered his beloved London Irish through a period of great change which saw the club change ownership and move from its historic base in Sunbury to the brand new, state of the art facilities at Hazelwood which were officially opened in 2014.

In doing so, he ensured that the club set itself for the next phase of growth in the professional game while maintaining the strong connection with its amateur club which now also enjoys a fantastic base to support its development. It was fitting that the club's Under-18 team were crowned champions at the Academy Finals Day this very week.

"We have lost a true friend – devoted to London Irish, Ireland and rugby in all its aspects," said Quentin Smith, chairman of Premiership Rugby.

"David always brought commercial intelligence, creativity, good humour, and common sense to his relationship with Premiership Rugby and his fellow clubs. He was very committed to the concept and application of collaboration to ensure the success of the whole Premiership."

Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby added: "David played a major role in both the development of the Premiership and the evolution of London Irish.

"He was a constant force for progress and was instrumental in the establishment of London Irish's historic match in the USA next month when they will take part in the first ever Aviva Premiership Rugby match played overseas.

"Our thoughts are with his family and everyone at London Irish at this very sad time."

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