London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney said he ‘couldn’t be more delighted’ after his side marked their eagerly-awaited return to the capital with a 22-9 victory over Leicester Tigers on Sunday.

The Exiles were playing their first game at their new home, the Brentford Community Stadium, after two decades based at the Madejski Stadium in Reading.

Curtis Rona’s try and 17 points from the boot of Paddy Jackson made it a successful start to the new era and a beaming Kidney hailed the efforts of all at the club.

"I'm delighted for everybody in the organisation,” he said.

"There's been a lot of incredible work done to get us back in town, so to start the new era off with a victory was the icing on the cake.

"Les [Kiss] and myself have worked at stadium openings before and if you’re not careful you can get hijacked with everything that goes on around it, but I think the club managed it all very well.

"It means a lot to everyone behind-the-scenes, and of course our fans, so we couldn't be more delighted.”

As well as ensuring a dream start to life in their new home, the victory was Irish’s first of the season following a narrow 11-10 defeat at Worcester on the opening weekend.

The Exiles had to wait half-an-hour for their first try at the Community Stadium and the honour of scoring it went to outside centre Rona, who dotted down after linking up well with Billy Meakes.

Jackson added the extras along with two penalties as Irish took a 13-3 lead into the break, and the hosts had to dig in during the second 40 minutes as the Tigers put pressure on.

Kidney’s men managed to prevent the visitors crossing as the two sides traded penalties, ending with Jackson slotting his fifth with the last kick of the game as Irish had the final word.

"We weren't a whole lot better this week than we were last week, but it just goes to show that the small things can make a huge difference,” Kidney said.

"That loss last week at Worcester focused our minds – of course, the anxiety levels were high before Leicester, but as the game wore on, the confidence came through.

"We went for it – and we got our rewards.

“Leicester were always going to have a good patch and we had to weather the storm a little during the early part of the second half, but defensively we were set very well.

"Hopefully we can calm down a little now and play a bit smarter in spells.

"We won't get overly excited about the win, just like we didn't get carried away after the loss at Worcester.”

The next step for the club is welcoming fans to their new home, which they are able to do against Sale Sharks next weekend due to London being placed in tier two under the new coronavirus guidelines.

That means up to 2,000 supporters can attend against the Sharks – a prospect which Kidney is relishing.

"We've got a lot of work to do still – but to win our opening game in a new stadium is a great feeling,” he said.

"You can only imagine what this stadium will be like with the fans here. It will be hopping – the hottest ticket in town, that's for sure.

"We can't wait to see 2,000 fans in here – it's not the full capacity we want, but it's another step forward.”