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Sale follow Exeter's lead and bring in ex-Wasps academy signings

By Liam Heagney
Rekeiti MaAsi-White (Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sale have taken a leaf out of the Exeter recruitment book by signing two ex-Wasps academy players on long-term deals. It was last week when Chiefs boss Rob Baxter revealed he had signed three up-and-coming youngsters who had been left high and dry by the Wasps collapse, and Sharks’ Alex Sanderson has now followed suit by bringing in two players to Manchester.

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A statement read: “Sale Sharks have agreed to long-term deals to sign England U20s centre Rekeiti Ma’asi-White and England U18s prop Asher Opoku-Fordjour from Wasps. The talented pair have both signed deals until the end of the 2024/25 season and have joined up with the Sharks squad immediately ahead of the Premiership Cup fixture with Harlequins on Friday.

“Tonga-born Rekeiti has made two appearances for Wasps in this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup, starting the opening round fixture against Newcastle and featuring as a replacement in round two against Leicester. The powerful 19-year-old was also part of the England U20s squad for 2022 Six Nations and he followed that up with a call-up for the summer series.

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“Tighthead prop Asher signed a senior academy contract at Wasps ahead of the current Premiership season. The 18-year-old former Kenilworth RFC player has been called up to England U18 development camps and has represented Warwickshire at U16 level.

Sale academy manager Fergus Mulchrone said: “Rekeiti and Asher are both young players with huge potential and we are delighted that we have been able to bring them to the club.

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“Everyone knows what has happened at Wasps, but I’m really pleased that we can give these two lads a chance to continue their rugby careers. We are building a really exciting group of young, homegrown talent at the club and Rekeiti and Asher will only add to that. We’re looking forward to working with them.”

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It was eight days ago when Exeter announced their signings from the Wasps academy – Alfie Bell, Greg Fisilau and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso. Lock Bell is a 6ft 8, 118kg England U20s and back row forward Fisilau, the son of former Tonga centre Keni Fisilau, is another England U20s, standing at 6ft 2in tall and 109kg

Meanwhile, Feyi-Waboso came through Cardiff’s academy before he transferred to Aston University in Birmingham and was picked up by Wasps. He previously featured for Wales at U18s, as well as being part of their U20s squad.

Baxter explained at the time: “I want to find guys who have not won anything and I want to find that next group whose sole focus is winning. Wasps have a very talented group of players there – they have done fantastically well bringing them through to where they are now.”

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