Distraction XV

It has been an awful few days for everyone associated with Wasps Rugby club. Staff, players, fans are all suffering now, obviously to different extremes, in the worst week in the club’s history.

I am going to see how the next few weeks pan out before writing again, quite possibly for the final time, but for now I hope that the below might provide a bit of a distraction and a chance to reminisce on some of the best moments we have enjoyed as supporters since the move to Coventry in 2014.

Below is my all time favourite XV from the last eight years, complete with my favourite moment / tries from seeing them in the flesh. I’d be interested in hearing yours.

15. Charles Piutau. Only at Wasps for a season but what a player. Incredible runner, could fill in at 13 and was such an exciting guy to watch. Obvious choice for best moment, watch from 13mins onwards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s1TqaqzFHc

14. Christian Wade. How he has only played once for England I will never understand. I was beyond gutted when he left the club and I am so pleased to see him back playing rugby again. So many magic moments, the hat-trick vs Bath around Christmas time was particularly special. For me though, this clip demonstrates what a superstar Wasps had on their books. So special. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ5EuRCZEI4

13. Elliot Daly. The circumstances around his departure left a bitter taste but should not overshadow the positive impact he made at the club. Hammer of a left foot, elusive runner and it is pleasing to see him back on form now on the club scene. Talented individual. This try was a bit good too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb1KsM04PJM

12. Kurtley Beale. He played mainly at 15 for Wasps but I felt I had to get him in somewhere! A bit of a rockstar signing and similar to Piutau, I wish we had seen more of him in a Wasps shirt. I also feel the club would have won the final in 2017 if he had not been injured after he scored the opening try in the semi-final the week before. You can watch this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzUyBkG4f1c

11. Josh Bassett. A constant presence in Coventry, had to fight for his place in the team to accommodate some of the more high profile signings, and delivered my favourite moment in the ground. Same link as above, what a day that was!

10. Jimmy Gopperth. Such a good player, moved to 12 once Danny Cipriani arrived without fuss but it was at 10 he delivered one of the most iconic moments at the ground. A close second favourite to Josh’s wining try for me, but it is very close! Watch from 14mins, coolness personified! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s1TqaqzFHc

9. Dan Robson. Similar to Christian Wade, how he has never started for England is completely baffling, but a brilliant servant to the club. Changed the game in the 2017 semi-final off the bench and scored some terrific tries. Some great moments, with perhaps these four tries haul the best and coincided with first time I had taken both my children to the club. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB9TX3ScovE

8. Nathan Hughes. On form, an absolute beast, I absolutely loved watching him play. He tailed off a bit when his time at the club was coming to an end, but his display against the European Champions Toulon in Coventry showed what a talented player he was. Two tries and monumental on a cold Sunday evening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUiq9kS7aKU

7. Jack Willis. Has overcome two serious knee injuries and at times seemed to single handily drag Wasps out of nowhere to the Premiership final in 2020. His stats from that season were mind boggling. Wherever he ends up now I wish him nothing but good wishes for all he has done for the club. We had to watch many of his best moments on the telly due to the lockdown, so I’ve gone for the Friday night massacre against Saracens in February 2020, when he opened the scoring as the one to share today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3YAOHuZqQo There will be many more special moments to come.

6. James Haskell. Can divide opinion amongst supporters but what I do not feel you can question is how much he loved the club. Was captain when the club moved from High Wycombe to Coventry and it was great to see him get a proper run in the national team not long after. He did not score many tries towards the end of his Wasps career, but I did enjoy seeing this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnB9asGieNI

5. One second row is obvious, lots of contenders for his partner. Tough one this, but I am going to go for Keanan Myall. A great lineout technician and a brave individual in terms of his openness about his mental health difficulties which he has shared in recent years. He also produced this match winning moment which must be a special memory for him. It is for me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niNaE_clbQk

4. Joe Launchbury. A stalwart of the club and an incredibly important player. Seems like he has been around for ever, yet still keeps turning out consistent performance after consistent performance. Big, strong and capable of popping up with some important scores, I’ll go for this one as a favourite vs Worcester: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT5-aK1YHD4

3. Jake Cooper-Woolley. Very underrated I felt but another who produced some big moments for the club. I was really disappointed to see him move on. Scored some good tries, I hope you enjoy remembering him the scoring in this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yHnBE-2ss

2. Ashley Johnson. A versatile player who I simply loved watching play. Unmistakable hair, destructive runner, absolutely loved the club. So many great moments, but this try finished off ten minutes of some of the best rugby I have seen in the stadium. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiz-SlC2TPs&t=217s

1. Tom West. If this lad can stay fit, I am confident he will play for England. Good in the scrum, gets around the park well and weighs in with some close range tries. This was the last one he scored, in what looks increasingly likely to look like the club’s last victory at the ground:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_5wNYvt-Ao

That’s it for now folks, hopefully a bit of a distraction. Let me know your favourite XV since 2014. Until next time…….


  1. 15. Le Roux
    14. Wade
    13. Daly
    12. Siale Piutau
    11. Josh
    10. Jimmy
    9. Dobbie
    1. Will Stuart
    2. Ashley
    3. Kieran Brookes
    4. Joe
    5. James Gaskell
    6. Brad Shields
    7. Jack Willis
    8. Nemo

    That was fun! Thanks


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