Aviva Premiership
Wasps bolster squad with Jimmy Gopperth
ESPN Staff
January 7, 2015
Jimmy Gopperth has joined Leinster © PA Photos

Wasps have announced the capture of Leinster fly-half Jimmy Gopperth.

Gopperth will arrive at the club next season and returns to the Premiership following his stint with Newcastle from 2009 through to 2013. After two seasons with Leinster, who have brought back Jonathan Sexton ahead of next term, he will join Wasps in a move that will seemingly bring to an end Andy Goode's playing career with the club.

"We are delighted to have signed Jimmy Gopperth for next season," Wasps boss Dai Young said. "Jimmy's consistency of performance at the highest level is really impressive. He is one of the most accurate kickers in Northern Hemisphere rugby and we also expect him to develop a dangerous attacking partnership in our back line over the next couple of seasons.

"I've been impressed by our 21 year-old Alex Lozowski, who is coming through well, and Ruaridh Jackson should be back fully fit next season after his ACL injury, so we will continue to have good strength in depth at fly half."

Goode has excelled this season at Wasps and was named Man of the Match for the first game at their new Ricoh Arena home. But aged 34, Goode's days are numbered in top flight rugby and while Wasps want to keep him in a backroom role, he could leave for pastures new.

"Andy Goode's contract finishes at the end of this season, but we would love to keep him involved with Wasps and have offered him a coaching role at the club," Young said. "Goodey's ability to analyse the game is first rate and when you see him around the club it's easy to appreciate how much he is respected by the players and the coaches. He has won everything there is to win in club rugby and offers so much off the field, as well as on field, to the younger players here.

"Andy has already shown his coaching potential alongside our A team coaches and we would like him to join the senior team. At the moment he is keeping his options open and considering a variety of offers elsewhere, which we fully understand. As anyone who has watched Wasps recently will know, Andy has played outstandingly well the past month or so and his performance against London Irish at the Ricoh Arena, breaking the Aviva Premiership points record, was top notch.

"However, when it comes to recruitment you are looking to build for the future and what the club will need in a year or two's time, and we believe the signing of Gopperth, alongside Jackson and Lozowski, will provide us with dangerous attacking and kicking options for the next few years to help move Wasps to the next level."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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