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'An opportunity I couldn't turn down': Wasps sign MLR's de Chaves

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images for LA Giltinis)

Wasps have signed Sebastian de Chaves on a short-term deal from Austin Gilgronis, the Major League Rugby side that finished third in the Western Conference of the 2021 season that ended in July with LA crowned champions.  

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The 30-year-old lock will be back on familiar territory in the Gallagher Premiership as he previously spent five seasons at Leicester Tigers and London Irish while also playing some Championship rugby for Newcastle Falcons during their second-tier 2019/20 title-winning season.  

It was in his native South Africa where the 6ft 6in second row started out his career, featuring with the Golden Lions before moving to France to play with Mont de Marsan in the Top 14 in 2012. The 120kg forward also represented South Africa U20s at the 2010 Junior World Championship, but he is also qualified to play for England and Portugal.

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Lions back-rower Hamish Watson guests on this week’s RugbyPass Offload

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Lions back-rower Hamish Watson guests on this week’s RugbyPass Offload

De Chaves will provide cover at the second row in the early months of the new season with Joe Launchbury, James Gaskell and Theo Vukasinovic continuing to recover from their respective injuries. 

Handed a bye for the opening weekend, Wasps won’t start their new campaign until September 25 when they host Bristol at home, a delay that will help de Chaves get up to speed with life at the Coventry-based club.

Wasps boss Lee Blackett said: “We are delighted to add Seb to our group. He will provide vital cover for us in the second row while we are without Joe, James and Theo. Seb is an experienced lock who has played over 50 games in the Premiership. He will bring a lot to our lineout and we are excited to start working with him.”

De Chaves added: “I’m delighted to get the opportunity to come back and play in the Gallagher Premiership. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Major League Rugby, but this was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. Wasps play an exciting brand of rugby and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”

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Flankly 10 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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