Wasps could play with an Irish centre pairing next season after confirming 4 new signings

Dai Young has recruited two Dubliners with a 10-year age gap.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

PREMIERSHIP CLUB WASPS have signed up two Irish centres as they move to finalise their squad for next season.

Ex-Munster and Northampton man James Downey has been given a contract after joining the newly-moved Coventry club as injury cover in February.

“I have really enjoyed playing in what is a very exciting backline,” says Downey.

“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.”

The 34-year-old may find himself dovetailing with a fellow Dubliner in Wasps’ new midfield as the midlands club have also announced that Brendan Macken will leave Leinster for the Premiership this summer.

The outside centre, a product of the Leinster academy and Blackrock College has scored six tries in 46 appearances for his native province since 2010 and follows out-half Jimmy Gopperth to the Ricoh Arena.

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The 24-year-old spent a portion of this season on loan in England with Gloucester, and evidently impressed enough to earn a place in Dai Young’s squad for next season.

“I’m delighted to sign for Wasps. They’re a massive club in England and their reputation is getting better and better on and off the pitch, and I just hope I can contribute in some way,” Macken said in a statement today.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

“I hope to get as much experience as I can and will try to maximise any opportunities I have. Wasps have some really talented players, particularly in the centres. I’ve played against Elliot Daly in the past and was really impressed with Alapati Leiua against Leinster at the RDS this season.

“There are really talented guys behind them as well. I’m looking forward to being part of the Wasps’ set-up, working hard and contributing as best I can to help the team continue to improve.”

The two Irish centres are just half of the inbound players announced by the club today, Leicester loosehead Tom Bristow and and London Scottish scrum-half Jamie Stevenson complete the quartet.

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Sean Farrell

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