Mass recruitments at Wasps
TRANSFER NEWS: Dai Young has announced that he has added five new players to Wasps squad for the 2018/19 season.
The five players joining the squad are: Joe Atkinson, Michael Le Bourgeois, Ross Neal, Ben Morris and Billy Searle.
🎥WATCH Highlights from the five players Wasps have signed from @Champrugby for 2018/19. @BedfordBluesRFC Michael Le Bourgeois @Champrugby Player of the Season @theRPA Awards, @LSFCOfficial duo @RossJNeal and @atko7, @NottinghamRugby @The_Ben_Morris and @Bristol_RFC @Searly10 pic.twitter.com/EPcar37Qe3— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) May 11, 2018
Atkinson, 26, has built a reputation as one of the Championship’s best openside flanks during spells with Cornish Pirates and most recently London Scottish.
The Loughborough Students product, who has been capped by England at age group and students levels, has scored 11 tries in 50 appearances for London Scottish where he was recently elected as players’ player-of-the-season.
Le Bourgeois, the Bedford Blues three-quarter has recently been named as the RPA Championship player-of-the-season and also in the Rugby Paper’s Championship Dream Team.
A talented footballer, the 27-year-old former Jersey Red has appeared across the Blues backline during a five-year stay at Goldington Road, and has this season captained them from inside centre.
Neal with an imposing 6ft 5 figure, the powerhouse 22-year-old centre has this season made a significant impact on English rugby’s second tier for London Scottish for whom he has claimed eight tries this season.
Morris, a product of Newcastle’s academy, 26-year-old back-rower Morris has impressed for Rotherham and since 2015 at Nottingham, where he has also on occasions played in the second row.
While Searle, the 22-year-old former Plymouth Albion flyhalf leaves Bristol Rugby to make the move to Coventry.
Searle has appeared 41 times for Bristol in total scoring 152 points. This includes 12 Aviva Premiership and five European outings last season.
"We have taken a lot of care in scouting these five players and are very much looking forward to working with them when pre-season gets underway," Young said, adding: "All five are exciting prospects who have been stand-out performers in the Championship this season.
"While these signings may not be as immediately eye-catching as Lima Sopoaga or Brad Shields, in their own way they are every bit as important for our future.
"Finding and developing talent is a big part of building a successful club.
"The salary cap regulations mean you must operate with a blend of players to ensure you have a robust squad able to cope with international calls, injuries and the need to provide rest.
"We are working hard at building up our own academy base and as the performances of Jack Willis and Will Stuart in particular have shown, we are making encouraging progress.
"However, we must accept this will take time to reach full fruition following our relocation to the Midlands, so bringing in talented players with improvement potential is a key part of our strategy.
"Over the last few years we have signed Josh Bassett, Guy Thompson, Alex Rieder and Tom Cruse from clubs outside the Premiership, and they have all gone on to be valuable members of the squad.
"We are hoping these five are the next crop of unpolished diamonds who, with some help from our coaches and support staff, go on to find similar success,"
Wasps expect to make further announcements regarding their 2018/19 squad in the coming days.