Wasps snap up Watson, Harris

Date published: February 22 2017

Wasps have confirmed the signings of winger Marcus Watson and prop Ben Harris, who will arrive at the club from Newcastle ahead of 2017/18.

In addition to the GB Sevens flyer and loosehead prop, Wasps will also be joined by Solihull-born hooker Antonio ‘TJ’ Harris, who is currently playing his rugby in the Championship with Nottingham Rugby. Known for his explosive power, Harris will add to Wasps’ talented pool of hookers next season, which includes Tommy Taylor, Ashley Johnson and Tom Cruse.

25-year-old Watson, helped Great Britain Sevens win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has also represented England in the World Rugby U20s Championship.

Harris will return to Wasps next season, having impressed during his short-term loan stint with the club. The England Counties prop previously represented Yorkshire Carnegie and Rotherham Titans before joining Falcons.

Speaking about the recruits for the new campaign, Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young said: “We’re pleased to bolster our front row options for next season, with the addition of Ben Harris and TJ Harris. We already know a lot about Ben and believe he has real potential at this level. TJ Harris has also impressed us in the Championship and we think he still has lots of growth in him. At only 22, he will only get better and we’re sure they will both become valuable members of our squad.

“Marcus Watson will be another exciting addition to our backline. Everyone has seen how Wasps like to play rugby. We always want an exciting back three, with pace on the wing, as we feel we have great distributors in our inside backs so we want to make sure we have deadly finishers to execute the chances they create. Marcus certainly fits into that category brilliantly, as he has shown already at international level on the 7s circuit and in the Aviva Premiership.

“Every squad is ambitious to evolve and improve, so it’s important to keep one eye on the future and make sure all the building blocks are in place to continue the squad’s progression.

“I’m already very happy with the squad we have developed here at Wasps and we’re now in a place where we only need to make a handful of new signings, rather than 12-13 as in previous years.

“Continuity is really important, so it’s very much a case of adding to the talent we already have and making sure we have at least two quality players in each position, to provide the depth needed to be consistently competitive at the highest level.

“For the players, the focus is very much on what can be achieved this season and ensuring we improve our performances, so we’re still fighting at the top of the Premiership come the business end of the season.”