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Redundant Wasps boss Blackett has landed temporary role next month

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

Lee Blackett has found himself his first temporary coaching work since Wasps went to the wall on October 17, agreeing to coach the Barbarians next month with Geordan Murphy and John Mulvihill when they face Northampton on November 26. When Scott Roberston and Ronan O’Gara were initially appointed as co-coaches for the upcoming tour, the Baa-Baas only had one match arranged – November 13 versus an All Blacks XV at Tottenham.

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However, amid the chaos of the Gallagher Premiership where Wasps and Worcester have been suspended, top-flight clubs in England have been eager to secure replacement fixtures. This has resulted in the Barbarians agreeing to play Harlequins on November 17, Bath on November 20 and Northampton on November 26.

That extended schedule left the Barbarians needing a separate coaching team to see out the tour and a triumvirate of Blackett, Murphy and Mulvihill will now oversee the famed invitation club for its closing match at Franklin’s Gardens.

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It was Monday of last week when Blackett was one of 167 players and staff made redundant after Wasps failed to deliver on the financial takeover needed for it to continue. The fall into administration resulted in the club’s suspension from this season’s Premiership and numerous players have since secured contracts elsewhere.

Blackett has now landed some temporary work himself and he will hook up with his one-time coaching rival Murphy, who was director of rugby at Leicester before he was elbowed aside in the winter of 2020.

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Meanwhile, ex-Cardiff boss Mulvihill, who exited Wales in January 2021 to head home to Australia, took charge of the Barbarians for the second part of their tour last June, taking over the reins for a match versus Spain after Fabian Galthie had led his Baa-Baas pick to an astonishing win over an England XV at Twickenham.

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The Barbarians will reportedly look to include the retired Tom Wood in their squad to face the Saints, along with the unattached Luthur Burrell and Wasps duo Brad Shields and Dan Robson. Northampton are staging the match to replace the cancelled November 26 fixture they were due to host against Worcester.

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