Wasps have confirmed that current interim head coach Lee Blackett has been appointed as the club’s full-time head coach. Blackett stepped up from his role as attack and backs coach to take the first-team reins in mid-February from the long-serving Dai Young and his impact was immediate, overseeing three wins from four games which helped propel the club back into contention for a top-four finish.
Joining Blackett as part of a new-look coaching team are Pete Atkinson and Richard Blaze. Atkinson will become head of performance after the conclusion of his contract with the Italian Rugby Union.
He has vast experience across a number of sports following highly successful spells with both Saracens and Leicester Tigers, as well as working at the English Institute of Sport and the ECB as their national lead for strength and conditioning.
Currently at the RFU working with the England women’s rugby team, Blaze will take up the role of forwards coach. Blaze joined England as part of the coach development agreement in November 2017, working with the U20 team. He previously worked as forwards coach at Leicester Tigers, winning the Premiership title in 2012/13, having played for the club from 2007 to 2010.
It has also been confirmed that current forwards coach Andy Titterrell will be leaving the club. “The last few months have been fantastic, and I can’t thank the coaches, players, staff and supporters enough for the support they have given me,” said Blackett.
“I’m really excited to have the chance to work with Pete and Richard as we prepare to get the team back playing again and hopefully deliver the success this club deserves. I’d also like to place on record my thanks to Andy for his time at Wasps. He’s a very popular member of the group and we wish him well in his next venture.
Wasps CEO Stephen Vaughan added: “Since taking over as interim head coach in February, Lee’s impact has been extremely positive. The results on the pitch speak for themselves and he fully deserves the opportunity to lead the group.
“He is very driven, has good rugby intellect and is relishing working with the talented group we have. Lee sees growth in the squad and we’re excited about the new additions to support him and how they will work together. Pete and Richard bring a wealth of experience with them and their pedigree at elite level sport is unquestionable.
“We believe this new structure, which removes the need for a director of rugby, is the best fit for the club. I’m confident that we have the right leadership team in place to take us forward and start the next chapter of our history.”
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