Wasps react to mass exodus claims

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:24
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REACTION" Wasps have dismissed claims England stars Joe Launchbury, Elliot Daly and Christian Wade are threatening to quit the Premiership outfit over a lack of financial investment.

A report in the Daily Mail claims players and coaching staff are frustrated over inadequate training facilities and the backlog in image-rights payments, which are thought to account for about 15 percent of overall salaries. Wasps chiefs dispute claims about image rights and insist they are unaware of any outstanding payment issues.

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RugbyPass understands Launchbury, Daly and Wade still have two years left on their Wasps contracts and sources close to the players have refuted suggestions they are set to quit or lead a rebellion. Launchbury, the club captain, turned down bigger contract offers from rival clubs to stay with Wasps who head into Sunday’s home game with Northampton in third place and chasing a home play-off semi-final.

Wasps have yet to deliver a promised state-of-the-art training complex which was part of the package that convinced the players that a move in 2014 from their London base in Acton to Coventry and the Ricoh Arena stadium would transform the facilities they could work with.

The club is currently sharing training facilities at Broadstreet RFC having previously been given planning permission for a £7million base at the Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry before opting to shelve that plan. It is understood that Wasps have identified a site for a new training complex based at a junior rugby club in South Warwickshire, around 15 minutes outside Coventry but even if planning permission is granted shortly it will not be ready for over a year.

Joe Launchbury lets out a roar

Wasps are to announce their latest financial results shortly and there will be keen interest to see how they are going to service the payments due on the £35m bond issue launched in 2015 and which requires around £2m to be paid in interest every year. The Richoh Arena complex gives Wasps revenue from the on-site hotel, casino and exhibition facilities as well as sporting fixtures and concerts.

Big money signings Brad Shields and Lima Sopoaga will arrive from New Zealand in the summer with Danny Cipriani and James Haskell departing to help balance the salary cap expenditure.

By Chris Jones, RugbyPass

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