Teams are well in to their pre-season training, and the Wasps rugby team are working as hard as ever. Especially when coming so close to lifting the Aviva Premiership trophy last season.
Wasps upcoming 2017/18 season will be a year in which the team will need towards taking that one-step higher. It’ll be tough to get to where they were last year; due to the high standards put in from teams such as Exeter, Bath, Leicester and Saracens.
Here are some points that you may have missed in the break, and things to look forward to.
Wasps Rugby New Signings
We will start with one of last seasons most exciting players. Marcus Watson, (see picture below) comes in from the Newcastle Falcons, in which he scored 8 tries in 27 matches. He is a has proved himself to be a speedy player, playing sevens rugby for three years. Before Newcastle, he earned an Olympic silver medal, for Team GB at the Rio games.
After losing Kurtley Beale, Wasps will be happy to bring in a speedster like Watson who is capable playing Wing, Centre and Full Back.
Gabiriele Lovobalavu (see main picture) is an Fijian behemoth! He has been signed as a powerhouse centre. After losing Frank ‘The Tank’ Halai after a poor season from him, they could not have gotten a better replacement.
No doubt will we see Lovobalavu provide crash balls, a dummy man and a struggle for commentators to say his name. The player certainly has the ‘firepower’ as was seen at the Singha Premiership 7’s tournament [which Wasps won]. We look forward to seeing him break tackles in the up-coming season.
Head Coach Dai Young Has Signed More ‘Firepower’
Another centre to be signed by Wasps is, Juan De Jong. A South African player who in over 90 appearances for the Stormers, he attained over 70 points. Again, a big player that has enough speed and is big enough to break through tackles and cause trouble against the opposition.Dai Young will have a whole host of players to pick from to put in to his back line. Expect them to be a tough challenge next season.
Wasps ready themselves for a tough start
One thing that has come up in many conversations and subjects with Wasps fans is the lack of forwards being signed. Wasps have not bagged themselves a forward that has momentum or enough firepower to bolster their pack. They have signed Prop, Paul Doran-Jones in the hope he can bring a strong scrum; which was lacking at times last season.
Overall, Wasps won’t be lacking flair in the 2017/18 season… not like they were lacking it last season though.
Aviva Premiership Early Fixtures
It is integral that Wasps start the season strongly. As many observed last season, they started to burn out mid season. But gladly, the flame came back on in the last few games.
In the first six games of the 2017/18 season they will face both Exeter and Saracens away from home. Wasps managed to get a draw away to Exeter last season, which was a huge positive.
Though they failed to beat Saracens away, losing 30-14. At home, on the other hand, Wasps seemed the superior on the field, winning both fixtures on home soil.
Those two matches will test the squad but they come fourth and sixth behind a home opener against Sale Sharks and an away game against Worcester Warriors. The fans and players know and expect that they should easily win those two games. The third and fifth games are against Harlequins and Bath at home. Again, both teams should be an easy win but with momentum, they can bring a tough match.
Wasps Academy 2017/18 Campaign
Wasps have signed two new players into their Academy; Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton. Gabriel has represented England in the Under 19 side as hooker and after an impressive first season as Bath U18’s Captain.
Attaining such a bright prospect, watch out for him in a future role in the Premier side. Thornton impressed for Scotland during the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia this summer, starting all five of their games.
Wasps Academy player Jacob Umaga (see above image) impressed at the U20 World Championships too. He one who helped England get to the final. Umaga; as many know from last year, is a great prospect coming up the ranks. His ability to play at fly half and center showcases his potential and often used as a utility back-up.
New Team Kit Unveiling for 150th Anniversary
The shirt for the 2017/18 Wasps rugby season will be unveiled on August 22. Eager fans will be able to purchase them from the pre-season game against Connacht. This is a big deal to Wasps players, staff and fans due to it being the 150th anniversary, so it is highly anticipated occasion.
The well supported club have many features and benefits for club members. This includes an official club coach/travel option. The bustling energy of traveling down the motorway system, singing along with fellow Wasps rugby fans is an enjoyable way to get to and back, from away fixtures.
In contemplating the 2017/18 squad and new signings, the near-future looks promising. Last Word on Rugby wish Wasps good luck in the upcoming season.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images