Kidney and Kiss lead London Irish to promotion back to English Premiership

London Irish secured promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership after recording a 46-7 victory over Richmond.

The Exiles, who were relegated from English rugby union's top flight last term, guaranteed an immediate return with a bonus-point success.

Led by director of rugby Declan Kidney and head coach Les Kiss, it was their 19th Championship victory of the season, with the title and promotion being clinched one game inside the distance.

Former Sale flanker TJ Ioane and wing Ben Loader each scored scored two tries, while there were also touchdowns for Albert Tuisue, Bryce Campbell, Josh McNally and Alivereti Veitokani.

Irish, whose final league game is against second-placed Ealing Trailfinders on April 27, look set to replace Newcastle in the Premiership next season.

The Falcons are currently seven points adrift of 11th-placed Worcester, with just three games remaining.

Irish chief executive Brian Facer said: "We have achieved our return to the top tier of English rugby, which was the only objective at the start of the season.

"I would like to congratulate and thank Declan Kidney, his coaching team and the players for working tirelessly over the last year to ensure this was possible."

PA

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