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The Andy Goode 'no in-between' theory on Wasps' inconsistencies

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Ex-England international Andy Goode has shared his thoughts on why his former club Wasps are languishing in ninth place in the Gallagher Premiership and face missing out on qualification for next season’s Heineken Champions Cup. Three points behind London Irish, Lee Blackett’s side need a win at leaders Leicester in their final match on June 4 if they are to leapfrog the Exiles and clinch that final berth for Europe’s top tournament.

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Beaten on May 14 at Lyon in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, Wasps wrapped up their home programme in the Premiership with a disappointing 16-7 defeat to Sale in Coventry last Friday. That was a setback that Goode watched unfold in person as he was working in the ground that night as part of the club’s corporate entertainment sector.

Having had a few days to chew on the result, Goode has now shared his thoughts on the latest edition of The Rugby Pod about Wasps’ inconsistencies this season and about the squad overhaul for next season which includes the departure of Malakai Fekitoa, the former All Backs midfielder to Munster, and the arrival of Vincent Koch, the World Cup-winning Springboks tighthead.

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Joel Kpoku | Le French Rugby Podcast | EP 30
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Joel Kpoku | Le French Rugby Podcast | EP 30

“I was chatting to a few lads at the game and I have said it for a few weeks on air, they are either really, really good or they are absolutely shocking, there is no in-between, there is no middle of the road so it is hard to put your finger on it really why they have been so inconsistent but that is what they are as a squad. 

“I’m sure Lee Blackett will be trying to fix things. They have got one game left to try and beat Leicester away from home, but has anyone done that this year?”

Asked about the various player ins and outs at Wasps, Goode added: “There is a South African centre (Burger Odendaal) coming in who is a decent player but I was looking at it the other day when they announced a list of eleven players that are leaving and some big names are going. Obviously, (Jimmy) Gopperth and Fekitoa are the main two. (James) Gaskell has been a stalwart at the club for quite some time, Rob Miller as well – these two are guys that have slipped down the pecking order. 

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“They have been great players for the club but there are some good young players coming through and they are going to put their hopes into players like Sam Spink, who has come on leaps and bounds this year in the centre. 

“It is a money issue, it’s the salary cap and everything that goes with it but they are in the market. They have signed two brilliant tighthead props in John Ryan and Vincent Koch so there is strength in that area but in doing that you have got to lose out in other areas and you have got to rely on some of the younger guys coming through. They will bounce back but this is where they have been. 

“You think back to Wasps, they had a couple of years where they had the likes of George Smith, they had Kurtley Beale, they had Willie le Roux, Danny Cipriani. They had some big-name players, they had Elliot Daly as well. The backline was ludicrous and had it not been for one player giving a really dumb penalty away in the last play of the game they would have won the Premiership final (in 2017). 

“Then off the back of that, there is no sustainability when you sign that many world stars. They have then cut their wage bill, cut their cloth accordingly around what the salary cap is over the last few years and you generally end up finishing in and around what you spend and how good your players are.” 

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