Wasps sign up four players

Date published: May 22 2015

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Wasps have announced four new signings for the 2015/16 season, with centre Brendan Macken joining the Premiership club from PRO12 side Leinster.

The Ireland U20 international and Emerging Ireland centre spent part of last season on loan with Gloucester after five years with his province.

"I am incredibly grateful for my time with Leinster Rugby, who I have been proud to represent since leaving school," said Macken about his move.

"I would like to thank everyone involved with Leinster – coaches, players, the backroom team and supporters – for everything they have done for me over the years. It has been an incredible part of my life for five years.

"I also really enjoyed my experience with Gloucester this season and the couple of months playing for them in the Premiership and thank them for the opportunity as well.

"I'm delighted to sign for Wasps. They're a massive club in England and their reputation is getting better and better on an off the pitch, and I just hope I can contribute in some way."

Meanwhile, centre James Downey will remain at Wasps next season, having impressed in black and gold since arriving from Glasgow Warriors in February as injury cover for Alapati Leiua, Chris Bell and Ben Jacobs.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be kept on at Wasps," said Downey. 

"It's a really exciting time for the club and I'm really looking forward to playing at the Ricoh next year in front of the Wasps fans again. It has been a great season for the team and the building blocks are in place for us to really kick on next year.

"I have really enjoyed playing in what is a very exciting backline and, with a few new faces next season, I can't wait to be involved. It will be a very strong group and that's what you want to be a part of. I'm really looking forward to it and things are only going to get better. Things are moving up at a fast pace and you want to be part of that."

23-year-old loosehead prop Tom Bristow will arrive from Leicester after two seasons with the Tigers, following 21 appearances for London Welsh. Meanwhile, Scotland A scrum-half, Jamie Stevenson, will provide another option at nine after four seasons with London Scottish, when he joins up with former Whitgift School team-mate Elliot Daly.

"As everyone knows, the depth of your squad is extremely important. You need high quality cover for injuries and to be able to rest players when they need it during the year, managing the squad to arrive at the business end of the season in the best shape possible," said director of rugby Dai Young.

"We have three talented, young players coming in in Brendan Macken, Tom Bristow and Jamie Stevenson, who I believe will fit really well into the squad. I'm also pleased that James Downey will be staying next season – his experience at the top level has been really beneficial since he joined and you know he will always produce a quality performance in midfield.

"I am really pleased with our recruitment to date. We already have a very strong nucleus to the squad of young home-grown talent, who have gone from strength to strength this season and who have re-committed to the club. We have been able to complement that core group with experienced players such as Bradley Davies and Alapati Leiua this season and next season will do the same through Jimmy Gopperth.

"Add to that the exciting up-and-coming talent we have joining, in England Saxons scrum half Dan Robson and All Black Frank Halai, and I think we will be in a good place next season. We are also looking at a couple of other players, but will announce these when finalised."

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