London Welsh hope to attract Oxford United fans

London Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips says the newly promoted Premiership club hope to attract a new following when they move to Oxford next season.

"We hope we can retain our traditional supporter base, that is very important for us," Phillips told BBC Oxford.

"But we hope we will be able to build up a very strong local following also."

Phillips is sure that the partnership with the U's can work, and is excited by the prospect.

"We have a very good relationship with Oxford United," he added.

"I think that if there are two professional teams who want to and are willing to work together, then we will be able to very amicably resolve our plans for next season."

The Exiles were forced to move from their home at Old Deer Park in Richmond to take their place in English rugby's top flight because it was too small.

Oxford was identified as a suitable venue for Welsh's application to join the Premiership because it has previously staged rugby matches.

But the RFU initially barred their application because it claimed Welsh's proposal did not meet the competition's entry criteria.

At Friday's appeal an independent panel declared that those criteria contravened competition law and granted the Exiles a place in the Premiership following their victory in the Championship play-off final against Cornish Pirates.

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