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Wasps confirm the exits of both Jimmy Gopperth and Malakai Fekitoa

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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Wasps have confirmed the end-of-season departures of Jimmy Gopperth, who has been linked with a two-year switch to Leicester, and Malakai Fekitoa, who will definitely be joining Munster on a two-year deal. It was last week when it emerged on RugbyPass that veteran out-half Gopperth was set to switch to Tigers while it was early January when a move to Ireland was initially mooted for ex-All Blacks midfielder Fekitoa. 

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Lee Blackett has now confirmed both players will indeed be leaving Wasps when the current 2021/22 season is over. “We would like to say a big thank you to Jimmy and Malakai for all their efforts during their time at the club,” said the Wasps boss. 

“Jimmy has provided us with countless memorable moments throughout his Wasps career. He will be fondly remembered for his cool from the kicking tee in pressure moments, including ‘the kick’ against Exeter, which will always be remembered by all those that were in attendance.

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“Jimmy’s longevity has been remarkable and we look forward to seeing him contribute to Wasps for the remainder of the season. Everyone at Wasps would like to wish Jimmy, Sarah, Bayley and Weston the best for the future.”

Gopperth added: “Thank you to everyone at Wasps for what has been an amazing seven years for me and my family. Huge thanks to Dai (Young) and Derek (Richardson) for bringing me to the club and since then to the coaches, players, and backroom staff past and present for making my time here so memorable.

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“The Wasps jersey is one I have been incredibly proud to wear. To the fans… you guys are incredible. You have helped in creating some amazing memories and moments that will stay with me, and hopefully you too, forever. This season isn’t done, and I’m looking forward to contributing what I can and giving 100% to the jersey and to the club right till the very end.”

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On Fekitoa, whom Munster have announced as a new signing, Blackett said: “We will always remember Malakai for being a model professional, who gave his all whenever he has pulled on a Wasps shirt. It was great to have Malakai back out on the field at the weekend. 

“He will continue to bring a lot to the squad for the remainder of the season. Everyone at Wasps would like to wish Malakai, Claudia and all his family the best for the future.”

Fekitoa added: “Thank you to everyone here at Wasps for these three incredible years, full of learning, new challenges, friendships and unforgettable experiences. It has been a great honour to represent this proud club. I feel very lucky to have been part of this team. There is still a long season ahead and I am going to give everything I’ve got until the last game.”

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