Armitage open to London Irish return
May 3, 2012
Delon Armitage will move to Toulon at the end of the season © Getty Images
Fullback Delon Armitage has said that he is keen on a return to London Irish once his two-year spell with Toulon is up.
Armitage will link up with brothers Guy and Steffon at Toulon in the summer in a move that will bring down the curtain on a spell with the Exiles that started back in 2003. Armitage has endured a torrid past 12 months which has seen him out of the international reckoning with England and also serving some suspensions along the way. But with two years ahead of him at Toulon, Armitage is open to returning to London Irish in the future - once he's had his break from England.
"I've signed for two years for Toulon but who knows, if London Irish were still keen I would love to come back," Armitage told BBC Radio Berkshire. "When I came here at 17 it was always my dream to stay here and end my career here and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
"Things have happened and they have been no-one else's fault but my own. I think it is time for me to move on. I am getting myself into things I shouldn't be and it was time I moved on and challenged myself somewhere else.
"I've asked myself some questions and maybe I have got too comfortable and have achieved what I set out to achieve in a short space of time. I need to go away and work that out and I've got an opportunity to go and play for one of the best club's in the world."
With former England coach Brian Smith back at the helm of London Irish, Armitage admitted that he considered reversing his decision and stay with the Exiles but the lack of opportunity on the international stage confirmed that the switch was best for him and his career.
"If I was still involved with England I would have stayed at London Irish, definitely," Armitage said. "Obviously things have happened this year that have made that impossible. This is the right time to go.
"When Brian Smith returned to the club I did have second thoughts but I had already signed. Like I said, Brian has been brilliant, Toby has been amazing but things have happened that have meant I'm not at the top of the pecking order for England so it is time for me to go and challenge myself and work hard."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup