Thorpe makes Leicester switch
July 31, 2012
J.P. Morgan 7s: Gloucester 28-31 London Irish
London Irish back-row Richard Thorpe looks set to complete a move to Aviva Premiership rivals Leicester.
The Exiles have confirmed that the 27-year-old has left the club with a switch to the Tigers expected to be confirmed soon. Thorpe, who joined the London Irish academy from school 10 years ago and made his first-team debut three years later, will become the third player to leave Irish for Welford Road this summer should he put pen to paper on a new deal, following behind fly-half Dan Bowden and winger Adam Thompstone.
"I would like to thank all players and staff that I have been involved with over my time at London Irish and also the tremendous supporter base," said Thorpe, who leaves halfway through his latest two-year contract. "I will look back at my time at Irish with fond memories. I am now looking forward to a new challenge."
Thorpe revealed on Twitter last week that a surprise move was imminent but the message was subsequently deleted. It read: "Thanks for a great decade of rugby London Irish. Now for a new challenge . . . signed with Leicester Tigers this afternoon #happylad".
Leicester have yet to confirm his capture with chief executive Simon Cohen commenting: "We are still waiting on the confirmation of the return to play date for a couple of (injured) players, therefore have been looking at a couple of triallists. Richard Thorpe is one of those."
Thorpe is one of four players to have left Irish in recent weeks by director of rugby Brian Smith having previously been signed to new deals by former boss Brian Smith. Scrum-half Ross Samson is set for join Championship side London Scottish, forward Tom Smith recently performed a u-turn to stay with Ospreys, while Jonathan Spratt returned to play for the Welsh region, despite only last February agreeing a two-year contract extension with Exiles.
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