London Wasps have set an early statement of intent for the 2014/15 season with a clutch of quality new signings to join the ranks. Wasps have all the makings of a good squad already but injuries to key personnel have not helped this season.
With the likes of James Haskell, Nathan Hughes, Ashley Johnson really hitting form, and the likes of Christian Wade to come back from injury and the addition of the new signings, 2014/15 has the promise of a top four finish.
Their new signings will certainly help:
Alapati Leiua – Born in Western Samoa, Leiua can play at wing or centre and has five Test appearances as well as two tries for his country.
Rob Miller- A former England Under-16, Under-17 and Under-20 international as well as a Saxon, he signed from Newcastle to Sale Sharks in the summer of 2010 and was thought of primarily as a fly-half but has made the Sharks full-back position his own.
James Gaskell – (not to be confused with James Haskell) Primarily a lock, he can also play in the back row, a position he played for both Sandbach School and Rugby Club. Made captain by Mike Brewer in the summer of 2010, his leadership qualities were not just spotted by the Kiwi as he has since captained England Saxons, the youngster player to receive that honour in the team’s history.
Bradley Davies – Capped over 40 times by Wales – Cardiff Blues lock Bradley Davies was snapped up by the region as a 14 year-old, progressing through the ranks before captaining Wales U19 to a
Grand Slam in 2005. It was during the 2006-07 Magners League season that Davies cemented his place with the Blues, with some strong performances winning him the award of most-improved player from the Blues fans.
Ruaridh Jackson – Jackson, who made his international debut in 2010, has won 23 caps for Scotland and follows his fellow Test half-back Greig Laidlaw into the Premiership after Laidlaw agreed terms with Gloucester.
Lorenzo Cittadini – Lorenzo Cittadini is an Italian rugby union player. Cittadini, who is a prop, plays club rugby for Benetton Treviso. He made his debut for Italy against Ireland on 2 February 2008.
Wasps can already boast Christian Wade, Tom Varndell, Elliiot Daly, Joe Simpson, Andrea Masi, Andy Goode, Will Helu, Kearnon Myall, Joe Launchbury, Jake Cooper Wooley and Carlo Festuccia in their ranks.
My Starting XV would be:
15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade (if fit) if not Will Helu
13. Elliot Daly
12. Alapati Leiua
11. Tom Varndell
10. Ruaridh Jackson
9. Joe Simpson
8. Nathan Hughes
7. James Haskell
6. Ashley Johnson
5. Bradley Davies
4. Joe Launchbury
3. Lorenzo Cittadini
2. Carlo Festuccia
1. Jake Cooper Wooley