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Sale

  • Cox, Lewaravu,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (2),
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20 - 34

London Irish

  • Paice, Ojo, Armitage, Bowden,
    Penalty goals: Homer (2),
    Conversions: Homer (4),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 16th Apr 2011
  • KO 17:30
  • Ground: Edgeley Park
  • Att: 16,428

Armitage rumours played down

Exiles boss Booth says flanker not yet certain to leave

Last updated: 17th April 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Armitage rumours played down

Armitage: Toulon rumours

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London Irish head coach Toby Booth has stated that Steffon Armitage's potential move to Toulon is not yet a done deal.

It was reported on Friday that Armitage would make a switch to the Top 14 outfit on a two-year deal, but Booth has said nothing is yet officially agreed.

The 25-year-old was in fine form during the Exiles' 34-20 win over Sale on Saturday and after the match Booth was quick to stress that he is still under contract.

"Steffon Armitage is in the middle of a three-year contract. We knew last year that he had two-years left on his contract," he said.

"There's no contract signed anywhere else, no compromise agreement, no anything, but ultimately we want world class players.

"Steffon's got world class attributes and we want him at the club. If we don't, we want players with those world class attributes."

Melbourne Rebels flanker Michael Lipman is rumoured to be a possible replacement should Armitage leave and Booth confirmed there have been talks.

Improvements

He added: "We spoke to him of course, but that's not because of the Steffon situation as want to improve our squad year in, year out.

"Everybody's talking about George Stowers leaving, so therefore we've got opportunities in our back-row. There's a lot of two and two makes four, five or six and I understand why those people make those predictions.

"He (Lipman) has decisions to make around his future. He's a very loyal and committed player. The fact that he's been a good captain for Bath when he was there and the fact that he's playing exceptionally well for the Rebels makes him a very exciting prospect."

Sale mounted a second-half fightback in front of a record home crowd of 16,428 in the one-off clash at the Reebok Stadium, and executive director of sport Steve Diamond hopes the occasion will bring fans back to Edgeley Park.

"We're in Greater Manchester, it's only 20 minutes from the centre of where Edgeley is so it was a great occasion and a well planned event," he said.

He added: "You can't come out to a better environment, 16 or 17,000 people here.

"They've trained well week, it's not nerves, it's the level of player that we have with us in some positions. That's why the recruitment drive is to get a pack of forwards."

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TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 26th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale Sharks vs Leicester Tigers
15:00Newcastle Falcons vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath
Friday 20th February
20:00Newcastle vs Wasps

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Phil Edwards

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