Exclusive: The US is an option for Wasps’ revival, Kenny Logan reveals

Alex Spink
Major League Rugby logo, Wasps logo and former Wasps and Scotland player Kenny Logan.

Kenny Logan reveals US interest in Wasps.

Shaun Edwards stood in front of a post-match microphone in Dublin and hailed the greatest game of rugby he had seen in either code.

His team had just scored two injury-time tries to beat Munster at the home of Irish rugby and reach their first European Cup final.

The team in question was Wasps.

“I won’t be rubbing that off my video in a hurry,” the cross-code legend said. And we knew what he meant. Only, video players came and went. And so did Wasps.

Last week Harlequins won an epic quarter-final away at Bordeaux. Observers labelled it the ‘greatest’ Champions Cup game ever played.

Wasps’ return

Life goes on without Wasps but, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of that famous day in the Irish capital, Kenny Logan has revealed how close he believes his old club is to coming back from the dead.

Speaking exclusively to Planet Rugby, the former Scotland star declared: “There is a 70 per cent chance Wasps will return. I don’t see us not coming back to a really good level if things go to plan.

“Plenty of people want Wasps back. It seems we’ve had every league in the world ask ‘do you want to come back and play with us’ – including as a US franchise in Major League Rugby.”

Logan’s optimism is worthy of note not because he spent seven years playing for Wasps and is fronting its attempt to resurface in the Sevenoaks district of Kent.

Rather because this is a man who does not believe in lost causes.

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Logan, capped 70 times by Scotland, has learned to thrive with severe dyslexia and overcame prostate cancer.

Inspired by his great, late pal Doddle Weir, he now works tirelessly to generate funds to find a cure for motor neurone disease.

“It’s a part of my make-up to prove people wrong,” says the husband of television presenter Gabby Logan. “I’ve been driven by an underdog mentality all my life.

“I have faced some major challenges. I only learned how to read and write when I was 30. I hid my dyslexia behind closed doors for years, not wanting to show any weakness. I now have my own sports marketing agency.”

In rugby he started out with Stirling County, whom few rated but were soon punching above their weight. Next stop was Scotland, perennial underdogs, at least in their own eyes, before heading south to London.

Proving a point

Wasps was the perfect fit for Logan, a club which had just lost its leaders to cash-rich Newcastle and placed its faith in a young Lawrence Dallaglio.

“The feeling when I arrived was ‘we’re going to show the world how good this club is’,” Logan recalls. “I’m drawn to people who are trying to prove a point, who feel they have to roll up their sleeves a little bit.”

Which brings us to Weir, who was diagnosed with MND in 2016 and died in 2022, though not before raising £8 million through his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“When Doddle got diagnosed we didn’t realise the impact he was going to make on the disease, not just in the UK but globally,” Logan says. “One individual, dressed up in tartan.

“Doddle was well-known in rugby circles but he became a very famous individual for a horrible disease that he stood up and spoke about.”

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In the eight years between diagnosis and death, Weir shone a light on what remains an incurable condition with his humour, zest for life and sheer bloody-minded determination to make a difference.

“You can’t imagine what those guys go through, as hard as you might try to put yourself in their shoes you’ll get nowhere near to the reality,” says Logan. “But what Doddie’s foundation has done is give people with MND some hope.

“Doddle’s big thing wasn’t about buying somebody a wheelchair or fixing their house up, it was ‘how can I find a cure?’

“He quickly realised it wouldn’t come in time for him and changed his mindset to ‘this is not about me, it’s about the person who’s going to get it tomorrow, in eight years’ time. What can we do for them?”

Weir’s refusal to take no for an answer rubbed off on Logan who, in addition to MND fundraising, now applies that attitude to putting Wasps back on the rugby map, 19 months after the club folded with 167 players and staff made redundant.

Wasps have to come back with a “real plan”

In a Planet Rugby interview last month England star Jack Willis said he would only want Wasps back if it was for keeps, given the trauma of what the club went through in 2022.

“We won’t bring it back for it just to fail,” Logan promises. “It has to come back with a real plan.

“That’s why we’re working with Sevenoaks District Council. We need our own ground, our own training ground, our own facilities, we need to be able to make money from it, be able to build a business.

“We need to build an arena rugby can be played in but also where we can do multiple other things when rugby is not there. That’s the key.”

Wasps have encountered some pushback, with Coventry chairman Jon Sharp causing a stir last month by declaring the club’s future, if it has one, should lie in the United Rugby Championship, not the RFU Championship.

Logan accused Sharp of “hypocritical waffle”, writing on X: “Didn’t Coventry go bust in Dec 2009 and then resurrect in Jan 2010 with no debt? Did Cov start at the bottom of the amateur league or did the rugby community support you?”

The Scotsman says he has noticed a change in rugby, pointing out that “years ago, when clubs struggled there was a real camaraderie among other clubs that none should be treated like this.

“Since Wasps, Worcester and Irish have gone there’s been none of that,” he adds. “It’s been the opposite. There’s been tribalism, and really against Wasps, despite some clubs having been through what Wasps have been through and bounced back the next week.

“We have to take all that on the chin and move on. We’re not going to argue about it, we’re just going to get on with it.”

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