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Wasps Rugby Discussion / Nizaam Carr back!!
« on: June 28, 2021, 09:04:28 AM »

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Robinson replacing Gleeson
« on: June 19, 2021, 10:29:05 PM »
TRP has the headline “Ed Robinson lands job as Wasp’s new attack coach”. Gleeson to be part of the England set up which has been rumoured for a while.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Gleeson
« on: May 14, 2021, 09:18:05 PM »
With Amor stepping down as England attack coach the rumour mill seems to be that Martin Gleeson will be the attack/skills coach.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / JdeJ goodbye
« on: May 10, 2021, 04:55:33 PM »
Juan de Jongh seems to confirm on his Twitter that he is leaving. Definite changing of the guard and happening at the club.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Stooke confirmed
« on: May 10, 2021, 12:03:53 PM »
Elliott Stooke has signed. The big lump we have all been wanting.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Tommy Taylor
« on: February 16, 2021, 08:22:38 PM »
Looks from Sale Twitter that Tommy Taylor is being announced as signing for Sale tomorrow.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Lima interview in Telegraph
« on: January 08, 2021, 10:23:26 AM »
Lima Sopoaga interview: 'Therapy is scary, but it can also be one of the most liberating things you can do'
Lima Sopoaga chose to see a counsellor about his mental health and is now helping to inspire Wasps’ young players
Daniel Schofield,
8 January 2021 • 7:45am
Lima Sopoaga —

Lima Sopoaga struggles to get his head around the fact that Charlie Atkinson, his Wasps team-mate, is 19. “That means he was born in 2001,” Sopoaga said. “That’s ridiculous. It blows my mind.”

There has been a lot for Sopoaga to come to terms with since he arrived at Wasps in 2018 to great fanfare as an 18-cap All Black fly-half. Like many New Zealanders before him, Sopoaga struggled to replicate the form he displayed with a silver fern on his chest in the cut and thrust of the Premiership. With rumours swirling last year that the club wanted to offload him, he lost his place in the No 10 pecking order to Jacob Umaga, 22, and Atkinson.

This season, Sopoaga has been reborn. He has played exclusively at full-back, where he has relished the greater freedom. Last weekend, he scored 14 points, including a try, in Wasps’ resounding defeat of champions Exeter. The role does have its downsides, however. “There is a shed load of running that I don’t really enjoy,” Sopoaga said. “It is the unrewarding stuff where you are covering places in the backfield where the ball doesn’t come. I am not quite Jimmy Gopperth, but I am nearly 30 now and the body does not bounce back like it once used to.”

He has also embraced the responsibility to act as a mentor to Wasps’ young English fly-halves, passing on knowledge he was once handed down to him by Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden. “I was blessed to have some wicked mentors,” Sopoaga said. “Those guys told me, ‘One day, you will be in this position’, and they asked I do the same for a young kid coming up. They were right. I am now in this position and it would be a disservice to those who helped me on in my career if I did not pass on what I know.

“I hope one day, when my career finishes up, I flick on the TV I see a young Charlie Atkinson kicking a goal for England. Hopefully not against the All Blacks. In the next year or so, I expect Jacob to be wearing that white shirt.

“He has Samoan heritage, like me, so if I can help his career get to the next level and pull on the red rose, then that can only inspire kids like us to chase their dreams. On the pitch, I understand what Jacob needs from a full-back because I was able to play as a 10 with the best full-back in the world, Ben Smith, behind me. His eyes and his communication were phenomenal.”

Heading into Friday evening’s match against Bath, Sopoaga has no doubt that he is playing the best rugby of his time in England right now. “I am probably in the happiest place as well mentally, and I think that’s helped my game,” he said. “It is no secret I have struggled, but I have learnt a lot going through that process and fighting my way out of it.”

Sopoaga admits that he was naive when he swapped the Highlanders for Wasps. He presumed rugby was rugby wherever you played. What he had not counted upon was the culture shock of swapping continents or the sky-high expectations of being the marquee replacement for Danny Cipriani. More than anything, he was weighed down by failing to meet his own standards.

“You have someone who is as special as Danny, he’s always going to be hard to replace,” Sopoaga said. “I am never going to be that guy. That’s not who I am. Also, I was not able to build those relationships with the guys around me as quickly as I would have liked. That’s something people maybe don’t understand; that you can’t just come into a team and instantly click.

“At times, I was getting down on myself too easily and that just snowballing, at the same time as a group probably in a place where we were not high on confidence and that just filtered throughout the club.”

He credits his turnaround to the fresh energy provided by the appointment of Lee Blackett as head coach and the support of his family and Ralph Mitchell, the Wasps team doctor. Last year, he also took the decision to start seeing a counsellor about his mental health, which he said had been critical. “That’s something I did off my own back,” Sopoaga said.

“The stigma around talking and opening up as a footie player is starting to come off. Rugby players are looked at as these macho, tough dudes, but really, we are just like anyone else. That was one of the best things I have ever done. I would encourage not only rugby players, but men especially, to get out of your comfort zone. It is hard, and initially it is pretty daunting and scary, but it can also be one of the most liberating things you can do.”

In the final year of his contract, Sopoaga does not know if he will remain at the Ricoh Arena. If this is to be his final season, he is determined to play a full part in winning Wasps a trophy, having come so close in last year’s Premiership final defeat by Exeter. “I feel this group has so much to give and so much potential,” he said. “Beating Exeter last weekend was a good statement. It gives us so much confidence that we can go toe to toe with the best in Europe when we turn up ready to play. I still think I have so much more to give and the best is to come in 2021. I am still not where I want to be, but I believe I am on the right path.”

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Back row!
« on: October 10, 2020, 05:38:30 PM »
When we had our previous successful period it was built on us having one of the best back rows around. Now we are back to that point. I also think the change of emphasis at the ruck has played right into our skill set and away from big heavy back rows. I think with the change we now have the best back row around and that is one of the keys to winning games.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Bristol confirmed
« on: October 07, 2020, 07:49:09 AM »
Sale have forfeited so it is Bristol on Saturday.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Left behind?
« on: June 16, 2020, 09:42:39 AM »
There are various reports that a number of clubs are signing players to longer term contracts to get round the salary cap reductions. Any pre-existing contract will not be counted in full when the cap is reduced and so clubs are signing up players quickly. The reports also say that not all clubs are doing this and name Wasps as one club that isn’t and this could lead to a two tier league.
This sounds a bit depressing for Wasps fans partly because yet again loop holes are being found to get round salary caps but also that Wasps are potentially going to find themselves in the second tier of the league.
However I don’t think we need to worry too much. There is only this one window to pull off this loophole and there are risks involved. You can only do it for players that you already have and so it won’t be a tool to recruit players from clubs like Wasps. There is a reason that long term contracts have been avoided in rugby and that is because they are risky. There is sadly a high chance that the players signed to long term contracts might be long term injuries and so taking up cap space while not playing. Long term contracts also narrow your flexibility when it comes to strengthening your squad.
 When players currently signed come to renewal they will all whether next year or 3 years time find there is less money on the table.
By Wasps backing younger players with big upsides we might find ourselves in the 2nd tier next season but I think we could quickly return to the top half but without the risk and the money spent.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Nemo has found a new home.
« on: June 12, 2020, 03:15:20 PM »
Signed for the Bulls. A shame because he has been brilliant signing and a fantastic player to have in the squad. I’d argue that in our strongest 23 he wouldn’t be in the strongest starting back row but what a player to have on the bench to cover the whole back row.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Congratulations
« on: January 18, 2020, 10:23:44 PM »
Congratulations to all at the club on securing Premiership survival after only 8 rounds!
In seriousness there is talk of most clubs having already done their recruiting for next year and so not being able to pick up Sarries players. IF we have Lima and Brad coming off the books we might be one club that could sign up some players. 

Wasps Rugby Discussion / EQP
« on: November 05, 2019, 09:44:23 AM »
What are the latest rules for the amount of English qualified players you can have in a match day squad? Having lost a few EQPs we must be having to manage the ratios quite carefully at the moment. It could be that we can't always field the squad we want.

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