New Wasps deal for Blackett

Date published: June 1 2016

Wasps backs coach Lee Blackett has extended his stay having signed a new contract, which ties him to the Ricoh Arena until at least 2019.

The former Rotherham and Leeds Carnegie back arrived at Wasps this season having made a significant impression in the Championship after becoming the league's youngest head coach when he took over at Rotherham Titans as a 30-year-old (2013). He went on to steer the Titans to the play-offs for the first time in the modern Championship era.

During his first term coaching in the Premiership, Blackett has helped to cement Wasps' reputation as one of the most attack-minded sides in the league, encouraging players to use their skills and pace to play what they see within the framework provided. His work on the training field has helped Wasps maintain their position at the top of try scoring charts, again finishing this season in first place alongside Exeter Chiefs, with 71 five-pointers to their name.

"I'm really happy to have signed a new contract," said Blackett. "I think everyone can see how good a club Wasps is and we are blessed with the talent we have to work with every day. It’s a great club to be part of and we’ve had a good season, but there is more to come and more hard work ahead to get to the next level.

"I have really enjoyed my first season here and would like to thank the club and Dai for giving me my first coaching opportunity in the Premiership and the playing group for being very welcoming and coachable. We were delighted to reach two Semi Finals, but at the same time really disappointed not to win them and compete in a Final.

"Wasps have a really exciting group of players again next season and I’m looking forward to continuing working for Dai and with coaches like Andy Titterrell and our S&C team over the next few seasons."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "Lee has done a really good job for us this season. We said when we signed him that he was one of the best up-and-coming young coaches out there and he has proved his potential and what he can bring to Wasps.

"Lee has handled the step up really well and shares our attacking philosophy here and the structures we want to work to. He's got a great work ethic and is very driven, always looking at how we can improve. He’s fitted into the group well and brought the best out of the talented players we have in our backline.

"Wasps have been towards the top of the try-scoring charts for a few seasons now, but Lee has really built on the good foundations laid by Steve [Jones] and Shane [Howarth] and has contributed hugely to the exciting rugby we have produced this season. There is still more to come from Lee and our squad as a whole and we look forward to developing our game further next season and seeing what we can achieve."