Despite the club’s financial collapse during the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season, the former Wasps players and staff have proven that the club’s old motto rings true; “Once a wasp, always a wasp.”
Former Wasps Scrum half Dan Robson shared a screenshot of the still active WhatsApp group on social media, with the ex-players and management team excited about two upcoming international debuts for Wasps alumnus. The likes of Zach Kibirige, Tom Cruse and former Head Coach Lee Blackett shared their support for ex-Wasps talents Tom Willis and Paolo Odogwu, who are eyeing up their international debuts this weekend.
*Disclaimer – contains the use of explicit language*
Back rower Tom Willis has been named on the bench in Steve Borthwick’s England team, that will take on Wales tomorrow afternoon in Cardiff. Willis was a boy-hood fan of Wasps, and formed a formidable duo in the Coventry club’s back-row alongside his brother Jack.
When Wasps collapsed, he followed his brother over to France, and signed with Bordeaux-Begles for the remainder of the Top 14 season. Willis has since been announced to be heading to Saracens for the 2023/24 season, and will hope to make a debut wearing the red rose before he turns out for his new club at the Stone X.
Former Wasps hot-stepper Paolo Odogwu will also be making his international debut this weekend, as he starts on the right wing for Italy. Despite being involved in England training camps during the tail end of the Eddie Jones era, Odogwu has been selected for the ‘Azzurri’, and is set for his first test against Ireland.
Odogwu has previously gained international recognition with England U18s and U20s, yet will be running out for his first senior cap tomorrow afternoon in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
In similar style to the Willis brothers, Odogwu headed to France after the financial collapse of his former club. He signed on with Stade Francais for the 2022/23 Top 14 season, but has since moved on from the Parisians in favour of Italy. Odogwu recently signed for Benetton, and will be running out for the Treviso club in the 2023/24 United Rugby Championship.