Team: London Wasps
Coach: Shaun Edwards
Home ground: Adams Park
Bob Baker (Wasps Academy), Nic Berry (Racing Metro), Charlie Davies (Stade Francais), Riki Flutey (Brive), Richard Haughton (Saracens), Seb Jewell (Harlequins), Tom Lindsay (Wasps Academy), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues), James Cannon (Northampton Saints)
Gabriel Bocca (Unattached), Danny Cipriani (Melbourne Rebels), Hugo Ellis (Newport Gwent Dragons), Warren Fury (Leeds), Eoghan Hickey (Unattached), James Honeyben (unattached), Dan Leo (Bordeaux), Lachlan Mitchell (Melbourne Rebels), Mark Robinson (Retired), Paul Sackey (Toulon), George Skivington (Leicester Tigers), Lee Smith (Leeds Rhinos)
Although Wasps have parted company with their brightest talent, Danny Cipriani, they have put their faith in club stalwart Dave Walder to guide them through the new season. The Wasps midfield has been a key strength for several years, and with Riki Flutey returning from France to rejoin Walder and Dominic Waldouck, they should have the talent to unlock opposition defences.
Losing two dynamic young forwards in George Skivington and Hugo Ellis is a concern. Ellis has failed to turn immense promise into Premiership dominance but Skivington seems to be maturing into an international-class lock and will now give his power and ball-carrying to the Leicester effort.
One to watch:
Andy Powell will be a crowd favourite and should be able to pick the team up throughout the season, and no doubt Wasps will hope that he remains out of favour with the Wales national setup.
I think Wasps will be lucky to make the play-offs, but if they do who’s to say they wont be able to resurrect the spirit of ’04 and steal the crown again? 5th