Wasps RFC logo 2021.svg
Full nameWasps Rugby Football Club
Founded1866; 156 years ago (1866)
(as "Hampstead Football Club" )
1867; 155 years ago (1867)
(as "Wasps FC")[1]
LocationCoventry, England
Ground(s)Coventry Building Society Arena (Capacity: 32,609[2])
Most capsSimon Shaw (355)
Top scorerJimmy Gopperth (1,152)
Most triesChristian Wade (82)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Wasps Rugby Football Club were[3] a professional rugby union team which was based in Coventry, England. They most recently played in Premiership Rugby, England's top division of rugby.

Founded in 1867 as Wasps Football Club, from 1923 to 1996 they were based at Repton Avenue in Sudbury, London. From 1996 to 2002 the team played at Loftus Road in Shepherd's Bush and from 2002 to 2014 they played at Adams Park in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Until 2022, their home ground was the Coventry Building Society Arena in north Coventry.

Wasps won 12 major titles. They were European Champions twice, in 2004 and 2007; have won six English Championships including three in a row from 2003–05; and won three Anglo-Welsh Cups. They have also won the 2003 European Rugby Challenge Cup. Wasps most recent trophy is the 2008 Premiership.

In the 2021–22 season Wasps finished 9th, this entitled them to compete in the 2022-23 European Rugby Challenge Cup. The most recent head coach was Lee Blackett who was appointed in February 2020[4] and made redundant on 17 October 2022 when the team entered administration.[5] The team had been suspended from Premiership Rugby on 12 October 2022.[6]


Wasps FC: 1866–1995

Hampstead Football Club was founded in 1866.[1] A split in the membership resulted in the formation of two different clubs: Harlequin F.C. and Wasps. Wasps Football Club was itself formed in 1867[1] at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London;[1] names of insects, birds and other animals were considered fashionable in the Victorian period. In December 1870, Edwin Ash, Secretary of Richmond Football Club published a letter in the papers which said, "Those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play."

As a reasonably well-established club, the Wasps were eligible to be founder members of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).[1] On 26 January 1871 the meeting was scheduled to take place. However a mix-up led to them sending their representative to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day.[1] Another version of the story was that he went to a pub of the same name and after consuming a number of drinks was too drunk to make it to the correct address after he realised his mistake. Wasps were, therefore, not present at the inauguration ceremony and thus forfeited their right to be called foundation members.[1]

Wasps' first home was in Finchley Road, North London. Later, grounds were rented in various parts of London until in 1923 the Wasps found a permanent home at Sudbury, Middlesex, eventually buying the ground outright.[1] The side had somewhat of a renaissance during the 1930s; in the earlier part of the decade they were seen as one of the better English clubs, going unbeaten in the 1930/31 English season.[7] The 1930s also saw the emergence of Neville Compton, who captained the side between 1939 and 1947 and went on to become fixture secretary in 1959 and eventually became the club president in the early 1970s before retiring in 1988.

Wasps went on to host Welsh internationals Vivian Jenkins and Harry Bowcott, in addition to this national representation, numerous Wasps came to play for the England national side, such as Ted Woodward, Bob Stirling, Richard Sharp and Don Rutherford. In 1967, the Wasps club celebrated their centenary. Celebrations took the form of two matches that were held at the Rugby school grounds, where William Webb Ellis is thought to have originated the rugby union game. One match was played against the Barbarian F.C., the other, against another London rugby union club, the Harlequins.

The 1980s saw what was, at that point, an all-time high representation of Wasps players in the England national side.[citation needed] In 1986, Wasps Football Club made their first appearance at the final of the John Player Cup knock-out competition, which originated in 1972. Wasps were defeated by Bath in a close game, where Bath emerged as winners, 25 points to 17. The following year Wasps continued their success in the knock-out competition and they again met Bath in the final. They were however again defeated by Bath in a close game, Bath winning 19 points to 12. Wasp Rob Andrew captained England against Romania in 1989. In 1990, Andrew captained Wasps to their first Courage League title, as they narrowly pipped Orrell R.U.F.C. to be English champions.

In 1995 Wasps lost 16–36 to Bath in the final of the Pilkington Cup. It was their first appearance in the final since 1987 and 1986, when their opponents — and the eventual winners — on both occasions were also Bath.

After winning the title, Wasps regularly finished in the top three of the Courage league title, although they were never quite good enough to overcome Bath, the pre-eminent club of the time. Then in 1995–96, with many pundits predicting Wasps could make a run for the title, Rob Andrew took up a lucrative deal to become Player Manager of Newcastle Falcons. He recruited several other leading Wasps, including, most notably, Club Captain Dean Ryan. For a few weeks Wasps looked like becoming the first casualty of the professional era as the backbone of their team had left. But under newly appointed captain Lawrence Dallaglio, the club steadied the ship, and managed to finish fourth, and secure a place in the following season's Heineken Cup, which English teams were entering for the first time.

Wasps RFC: 1996–1999

The original Wasps logo used until 1999
The original Wasps logo used until 1999
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The following season, 1996–97, Wasps won their second league championship, and became the first English Champions of the new professional era. It was an equally momentous season off the field. The club split into two parts, with the professional side becoming part of Loftus Road Holdings PLC, who also owned Queens Park Rangers F.C. One element of the deal saw Wasps move from their traditional Sudbury home to share QPR's Loftus Road stadium.

In 1998, the now-professional Wasps again reached the final of the Tetley's Bitter Cup, but lost 18–48 to a strong Saracens side. The following year Wasps again reached the final, they defeated Newcastle Falcons 29–19 to claim their first cup final win. In 2000 Wasps reached the final for the third consecutive year, successfully defending their title in a 31–23 victory over Northampton Saints.

London Wasps: 1999–2014

A match between Wasps and Perpignan in 2006
A match between Wasps and Perpignan in 2006
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In the summer of 1999, the professional team — which had been operating as Wasps RFC (professional) since the 1996–97 season — was renamed as London Wasps, to differentiate it from Wasps FC, the amateur side of the club. At the same time they adopted a new logo, which was selected as being in keeping with the club's history.[citation needed]

In 2001 ex-Wigan rugby league star Shaun Edwards joined as a coach. He has largely been credited with creating Wasps' famous Blitz Defence that stops teams and is the basis for Wasps' own scoring chances.[citation needed] London Wasps agreed to move out of Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road stadium to allow Fulham F.C. to rent for 2 seasons between 2002 and 2004, while their ground, Craven Cottage, was redeveloped. They became tenants to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park at the end of the 2001–02 season. The success of Wasps at their new ground meant they did not return to Loftus Road after Fulham left.

In the 2002–03 European Challenge Cup, Wasps made their way to the final, where they met Bath. Though Bath beat them in numerous finals in the 1990s, the Wasps emerged as champions, beating Bath 48 to 30 at Madejski Stadium. Wasps end of season run to glory also included timely wins that saw them defeat the Northampton Saints, in the Premiership semi-final, after finishing second in the league table. This saw them face Gloucester in the final at Twickenham. Wasps' superior fitness saw them waltz past the Cherry and Whites and win their first English title since 1997, by 39 points to 3.

Wasps finished top of their pool in the 2003–04 Heineken Cup, where they went on to defeat Gloucester at the quarter-finals and won a final berth after beating Munster 37–32 in the semi-finals. They met Toulouse in the final at Twickenham, where they became champions, defeating the French side 27–20, winning their first Heineken Cup. Wasps followed up the win the following week, again at Twickenham, by beating Bath to retain the title of England's champion side, and complete a double.

In December 2004 the RFU revealed that the team was to be disqualified from the Powergen Cup for fielding an ineligible player, hooker Jonny Barrett, in a sixth-round game versus Bristol.[8] Wasps went through the season well, after the cup glitch, and retained the English title for a second time, by beating Leicester Tigers in the final at Twickenham. Edwards, however, was not a totally happy man as Wasps conceded their first try of the three Premiership finals in the dying minutes.[citation needed] Warren Gatland signed off at Wasps with a rare smile to continue his coaching with Waikato in New Zealand.[citation needed]

Ian McGeechan became the new Director of Rugby at Wasps from the 2005–06 season, taking over from Gatland. Wasps won the Powergen Anglo-Welsh Cup in the 2005–06 season, beating Llanelli Scarlets in the final at Twickenham. Before the 2006–07 season began, Wasps won the Middlesex 7's in Twickenham, beating Leicester Tigers in the final.[citation needed]

In the 2007 Six Nations Championship, England vs. Wales game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wasps supplied the back row of the scrum, James Haskell, Joe Worsley and Tom Rees all made an appearance.[9] This was the first time that any club supplied the entire back row.[citation needed] Unfortunately for England, Wales won the encounter 27 to 18.[10]

Wasps celebrate after their win in 2007.
Wasps celebrate after their win in 2007.

In the 2006–07 Heineken Cup, Wasps qualified by topping their group for a home quarter-final. They were drawn against Leinster on 31 March. There was a full house at Adams Park, and three players in total were sent to the Sin Bin, Lawrence Dallaglio in the last moments of the first half, Dominic Waldouck of London Wasps and Malcolm O'Kelly of Leinster later spent time there as well.[11] The final score was 35–13 to wasps. In the semi-final at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena on 22 April, Wasps beat Northampton 30–13 and in doing so, gained a place in the Heineken Cup Final against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.

Leicester Tigers were the favourites, as they had already won the Anglo-Welsh cup and the Guinness Premiership, the latter just the week before. Wasps went ahead early, and while Leicester kept in the match, Wasps won 25–9, thanks to penalties by Alex King and tries by Raphael Ibanez and Eoin Reddan to become 2007 champions.

During the 2007–08 season, Wasps went from 10th in the league during October, to beat Leicester Tigers in the Guinness Premiership Final. This sealed a dream send-off for the retiring Lawrence Dallaglio at Twickenham. Wasps won 26–16 thanks to penalties by Mark van Gisbergen and tries by Josh Lewsey and Tom Rees to become the English 2008 champions. Wasps have now won six league titles in all, equal with Bath and just one behind Leicester.

The 2008–09 season was to see Wasps come unstuck. With their captain having retired, many of the players failed to play to their full potential. Wasps would eventually finish in seventh place, having also failed to reach the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup and EDF Anglo Welsh Cup. On 12 May 2009 it was announced in the evening standard that Ian McGeechan had been forced to step down and will now take a consultancy role both at London Wasps and London Scottish.[12] This was confirmed by the BBC on 14 May.[13] Tony Hanks, a former coach at the club, was announced as the new Director of Rugby soon after. He had more recently been coaching at Waikato and also been a stand in for McGeechan for the latter part of the 2008/09 season, while he was primarily committed to British and Irish Lions duty. McGeechan had technically been a Lions employee for the whole season and through agreement with Wasps was loaned back to the club.

The 2009–10 season started off with an exodus of key players including James Haskell and Tom Palmer who moved to Stade Français, Riki Flutey who also crossed the channel to join Brive and Eoin Reddan who left to join Leinster in Ireland.

In late February it was announced that Danny Cipriani would be leaving for the Melbourne Rebels in Australia and he was determined to leave on a high.

After beating Gloucester 42–26 in the quarter-final of the Amlin Cup scoring five tries (including a hat-trick from winger Tom Varndell), Wasps lost 15–18 at home to Cardiff Blues in the semi-final with Dave Walder kicking all of Wasps points with five penalties. Cardiff subsequently beat French Top 14 side Toulon in the final of the competition at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.

Shaun Edwards left the club in November 2011.[14]

Wasps had a poor 2011–12 season, finishing in their lowest position for many seasons in 11th place, narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premiership. The season was notable for a good start where Wasps beat with a 15–20[15] reigning champions Saracens at Twickenham in the opening match and then runners-up Leicester in the second match with a 35–29.[16] Things went downhill from there on as the worst injury toll known to professional rugby union hit the squad with a combined total of 16 serious and long term injuries and retirements.[citation needed]

Dai Young recruited well through the summer bringing in players such as Andrea Masi (2012 6 Nations Player Of The Tournament) and Stephen Jones. He also welcomed back former Wasps Tom Palmer and James Haskell.

Wasps beat their record of their European highest-scoring margin with a 90–17 win against Viadana on 12 October 2013, beating the 77–17 margin of victory against Toulouse on 26 October 1996.[17]

Wasps Rugby relocation to Coventry: 2014

The Wasps Rugby logo used from 2014-2021
The Wasps Rugby logo used from 2014-2021

On 30 June 2014, the club announced that the "London" prefix of the name had been dropped, returning to Wasps for the first time since the re-branding in 1999.[18]

In September 2014, Simon Gilbert, of the Coventry Telegraph reported the side were in talks to permanently relocate to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, from their home at Adams Park, in High Wycombe.[19] In October 2014 Wasps announced that from December 2014 they would play their home games at the Ricoh Arena.[20] On 14 November 2014 Wasps confirmed the purchase of the final 50% of shares in the stadium from the Higgs Charity to become outright owners of the facility.[21]

Their first game as owners was a 48–16 win against London Irish on 21 December 2014.[22]

Wasps Rugby: 2014–present

The 2014–15 season saw Wasps finish 6th. Andy Goode was the Premiership's top scorer, ending the season with 240 points.

Things improved for Wasps in the 2015–16 season, with them finishing 3rd in the league. They lost their play-off semi-final with eventual runners-up Exeter Chiefs.

Wasps finished 1st in the 2016–17 regular season. Despite this success, Wasps went on to lose to Exeter Chiefs in the play-off final, having beaten Leicester in the semi-final.

In the 2017–18 regular season, Wasps finished 3rd. They faced Saracens in the semi-final play-off, but lost 57–33. The 2017–18 season marked 150 years since the foundation of Wasps Rugby Football Club and was celebrated with an anniversary game against Bath Rugby.[23]

The 2018–19 campaign saw Wasps slip to an 8th place finish overall. Across the season, Wasps recorded 10 wins and 12 losses.

The 2019–20 Gallagher Premiership Season saw huge improvement for Wasps who finished 2nd in the table (71 points) behind league leaders Exeter Chiefs (74 points). As a result of finishing 2nd, Wasps earned a home semi-final against Bristol Bears on Saturday 10 October 2020 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Wasps won 47–24 earning a place in the Gallagher Premiership Final on Saturday 24 October 2020 against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium. In a repeat of the outcome of the 2016–17 Final, Wasps were defeated by Exeter Chiefs. The result was 19–13.

The 2020–21 season saw another slump for Wasps who fell out of the Top 4 playoff positions, finishing 8th in the table.

In May 2021 it was announced that Wasps' home stadium would be renamed to the Coventry Building Society Arena.[24]

On Monday 19 July 2021, Wasps announced a new logo to bring all elements of Wasps including the Netball team, Women and Amateur rugby sides under one new visual identity.[25]

Financial troubles and administration: 2022–

On 15 May 2022, Wasps failed to repay the £35m bond finance they had raised in 2015, however stated they hoped to re-finance by 13 August.[26] On 13 August 2022, Wasps did not refinance the bond, with owner Derek Richardson stating "we are not in administration and we are not going to be" after rumours of administration appeared on the internet.[27]

On 21 September 2022, Wasps Holdings announced their intention to appoint administrators due to ongoing financial difficulty.[28]

After a second notice of intention was filed on 4 October, the club were suspended from all tournaments on 12 October due to inability to field a team[29] and Wasps Holdings were placed into administration on 17 October 2022 with all their playing and coaching staff made redundant.[5]

On 19 October it was reported that ex Wasps chief executive Stephen Vaughan announced the Wasps Group was over £100m in debt before Wasps Holdings Ltd (the club) was placed into administration.[30]

On 28 October Premiership Rugby confirmed the club had been suspended for the season and would be relegated. Their results were removed from the table.[31]


Wasps' main rival were Harlequins in Twickenham, London. Both clubs were once unified as Hampstead Football Club. Wasps split from Hampstead Football Club (which changed its name to Harlequin F.C. in 1870) over discourse among members in 1867.[32]

Following Wasps' move to Coventry, Wasps tried to kindle rivalries with other clubs in the Midlands region of England. This includes the likes of Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints leading one rugby commentator to state that the games, "lack the history that a derby demands".[33]

Wasps Netball

Main article: Wasps Netball

Wasps expanded their sporting brand in 2016 with the addition of Wasps Netball. They play their home games at the Indoor Arena - Coventry located in the Coventry Building Society Arena.

In the 2018 and 2019 Netball Superleague seasons, they finished in top position, with Loughborough Lightning in 2nd place. Both teams proceeded to the Grand Final for a 2017 rematch, with Wasps winning their 2nd consecutive title with a scoreline identical to the 2017 and 2018 finals.

Wasps Netball were also placed into administration on 17 October 2022 with all their playing and coaching staff made redundant. [34]

Home ground

The Coventry Building Society Arena, Wasps' home ground since December 2014
The Coventry Building Society Arena, Wasps' home ground since December 2014

Wasps' first home was in Finchley Road, North London although subsequent years saw grounds being rented in various parts of London. In 1923 the club moved to a permanent home at Repton Avenue, Sudbury, Middlesex, eventually buying the ground outright.[citation needed]

Loftus Road

In 1996 Wasps moved to play their home games at Queens Park Rangers' home ground, Loftus Road, in West London. The site of the ground at Sudbury was later developed for housing, though the original club house still stands and is used as a community centre.

Adams Park

Wasps made another move in 2002, this time 30 miles west of Greater London, playing their home games at Wycombe Wanderers' ground, Adams Park, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The attendance figure went up by 31.8% the next season.[35] Between 2004 and 2015 Wasps took part in the London Double Header at Twickenham, this was a designated home match in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. In 2006 this drew a crowd of 51,950, breaking the record set in 2004.[36]

In 2007 Wasps, Wycombe Wanderers and Wycombe District Council entered a joint venture that would fund a new stadium in the High Wycombe area. The favoured site for the new stadium was at Wycombe Air Park, a 208-acre (0.84 km2) site owned by Wycombe District Council and close to the M40 motorway.[37] The planned stadium was of 16–17,000 capacity, and would have been the first new football ground in England with terraced section since the Taylor Report. The development would also have included retail, hotel, conference and other facilities. Wasps and Wanderers funding was primarily from Steve Hayes, who had become a 25% share holder through a £250,000 investment in Wycombe Wanderers in June 2004, when the football club became a plc company;[38] and later became managing director.[39] Hayes bought an 11.6% stake in London Wasps Holdings Ltd in August 2007,[40][41] and became chairman of Lawrence Dallaglio's benefit committee.[42] In December 2008, Hayes bought Wright's controlling interest and John O'Connell's share holding in Wasps to take complete control.[43][44] After the stadium plans at Booker Airfield were turned down, Steve Hayes put the club up for sale, with Derek Richardson becoming principal shareholder in April 2013[45]

Coventry Building Society Arena

Wasps' first official home game in Coventry was during the 2007–08 Heineken Cup when they used the then named Ricoh Arena as their home venue against Munster on 10 November 2007 due to its bigger capacity.[46] While commercially the move was seen as a success,[47] with Wasps winning the game 24–23 in front of a crowd of 21,506,[48] the move attracted severe criticism from many of the club's supporters, citing the long distance from London (a round-trip of almost 200 miles for London-based fans).[citation needed] The club argued that they had little choice but to relocate the match as their landlords, Wycombe Wanderers, had a home FA Cup tie the same day.[citation needed]

On 7 October 2014, Wasps purchased 50% in Arena Coventry Ltd (the operating company of the Ricoh Arena, with the intention of relocating to the Midlands. After gaining a 100% stake in the company on 14 November 2014, Wasps played their first game in Coventry as owners on 21 December 2014; a 48–16 win against London Irish. While initially the relocation was only for 1st team home games; the club relocated completely ahead of the 2016–17 season.[49]

Season summaries

Premiership Domestic Cup European Cup
Season Competition Final Position Points Play-Offs Competition Performance Competition Performance
1987–88 Courage League Division 1 2nd 36 N/A John Player Cup Semi-final No competition N/A
1988–89 Courage League Division 1 3rd 15 N/A Pilkington Cup Quarter-final No competition N/A
1989–90 Courage League Division 1 1st 18 N/A Pilkington Cup 3rd round No competition N/A
1990–91 Courage League Division 1 2nd 19 N/A Pilkington Cup Quarter-final No competition N/A
1991–92 Courage League Division 1 7th 12 N/A Pilkington Cup 4th round No competition N/A
1992–93 Courage League Division 1 2nd 22 N/A Pilkington Cup Semi-final No competition N/A
1993–94 Courage League Division 1 3rd 21 N/A Pilkington Cup 4th round No competition N/A
1994–95 Courage League Division 1 3rd 26 N/A Pilkington Cup Runners-up No competition N/A
1995–96 Courage League Division 1 4th 22 N/A Pilkington Cup Quarter-final No competition N/A
1996–97 Courage League Division 1 1st 37 N/A Pilkington Cup 5th round Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership 9th 17 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Runners-up Heineken Cup Quarter-final
C&G Cup Pool Stage
1998–99 Allied Dunbar Premiership 5th 31 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Champions No English teams N/A
1999–00 Allied Dunbar Premiership 7th 32 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Champions Heineken Cup Quarter-final
2000–01 Zurich Premiership 2nd 74 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup 4th round Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2001–02 Zurich Premiership 7th 54 N/A Powergen Cup 6th round Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2002–03 Zurich Premiership 2nd 67 Champions Powergen Cup 6th round Challenge Cup Champions
2003–04 Zurich Premiership 2nd 73 Champions Powergen Cup Quarter-final Heineken Cup Champions
2004–05 Zurich Premiership 2nd 73 Champions Powergen Cup 6th round Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2005–06 Guinness Premiership 4th 64 Semi-final Powergen Cup Champions Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
2006–07 Guinness Premiership 5th 61 EDF Energy Cup 4th in pool Heineken Cup Champions
2007–08 Guinness Premiership 2nd 70 Champions EDF Energy Cup Semi-final Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2008–09 Guinness Premiership 7th 53 EDF Energy Cup 2nd in pool Heineken Cup 2nd in pool
2009–10 Guinness Premiership 5th 57 LV= Cup 2nd in pool Challenge Cup Semi-final
2010–11 Aviva Premiership 9th 43 LV= Cup 2nd in pool Challenge Cup* Quarter-final*
2011–12 Aviva Premiership 11th 33 LV= Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup Quarter-final
2012–13 Aviva Premiership 8th 48 LV= Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup Quarter-final
2013–14 Aviva Premiership 7th 49 LV= Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup Semi-final
2014–15 Aviva Premiership 6th 61 LV= Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup Quarter-final
2015–16 Aviva Premiership 3rd 72 Semi-final No competition N/A Champions Cup Semi-final
2016–17 Aviva Premiership 1st 84 Runners-up Anglo-Welsh Cup 2nd in pool Champions Cup Quarter-final
2017–18 Aviva Premiership 3rd 71 Semi-final Anglo-Welsh Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup 2nd in pool
2018–19 Gallagher Premiership 8th 51 Premiership Cup 4th in pool Champions Cup 4th in pool
2019–20 Gallagher Premiership 2nd 71 Runners-up Premiership Cup 3rd in pool Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
2020-21 Gallagher Premiership 8th 50 - No competition N/A Champions Cup Round of 16
2021-22 Gallagher Premiership 9th 60 - Premiership Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup 10th in pool
Challenge Cup Semi-final

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runners-up
Pink background denotes relegated

* After dropping into the competition from the Champions Cup/Heineken Cup

Club honours

Wasps RFC

Wasps A


* As Wasps FC – 1987–1996
** As Wasps RFC – 1996–1999 & 2014–present
^ As London Wasps – 1999–2014


For player movements before or during the 2022–23 season, see List of 2022–23 Premiership Rugby transfers § Wasps.

Since 17 October 2022 no players or coaching staff are currently contracted to Wasps.[5]

Prior to 17 October 2022 the Wasps squad for the 2022–23 season was:[50]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Tom Cruse Hooker England England
Dan Frost Hooker England England
Gabriel Oghre Hooker England England
Biyi Alo Prop England England
Ben Harris Prop England England
Robin Hislop Prop Scotland Scotland
Vincent Koch Prop South Africa South Africa
Rodrigo Martínez Prop Argentina Argentina
Elliot Millar-Mills Prop England England
John Ryan Prop Ireland Ireland
Tom West Prop England England
Tim Cardall Lock England England
Cam Dodson Lock England England
Joe Launchbury (c) Lock England England
Kiran McDonald Lock Scotland Scotland
Elliott Stooke Lock England England
Theo Vukašinović Lock England England
Alfie Barbeary Back row England England
Nizaam Carr Back row South Africa South Africa
Kieran Curran Back row England England
Ben Morris Back row England England
Brad Shields Back row England England
Jack Willis Back row England England
Tom Willis Back row England England
Player Position Union
Will Porter Scrum-half England England
Dan Robson Scrum-half England England
Sam Wolstenholme Scrum-half England England
Charlie Atkinson Fly-half England England
Will Haydon-Wood Fly-half England England
Jacob Umaga Fly-half England England
Olly Hartley Centre England England
Ryan Mills Centre England England
Burger Odendaal Centre South Africa South Africa
Will Simonds Centre England England
Sam Spink Centre England England
Josh Bassett Wing England England
Francois Hougaard Wing South Africa South Africa
Zach Kibirige Wing England England
Luke Mehson Wing England England
Paolo Odogwu Wing England England
Ali Crossdale Fullback England England
Matteo Minozzi Fullback Italy Italy

Academy squad

The Wasps academy squad is:[51]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Archie McArthur Prop England England
Alex Pleasants Prop Scotland Scotland
Alfie Bell Lock England England
Fyn Brown Back row England England
Kofi Cripps Back row England England
Greg Fisilau Back row England England
Aaron Florestein Back row England England
James Tunney Back row England England
Player Position Union
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso Centre Wales Wales
Rekeiti Ma'asi-White Centre England England
Jude Williams Wing England England
Tom Bacon Fullback Ireland Ireland
Ollie Dawkins Fullback England England

Head Coach/Director of Rugby

Name Years Notes
? 1867–1981
Rob Smith 1981–1996 Rob Smith was also London Wasps academy director until 2013.
Nigel Melville 1996–2002 Current Director of Professional Rugby at the RFU.
Warren Gatland 2002–2005 Current Chiefs head coach.
Ian McGeechan 2005–2009
Tony Hanks 2009–2011
Leon Holden 2011 Interim Director of Rugby until end of 2010–11 season.
Dai Young 2011–2020
Lee Blackett 2020-2022 Last head coach


Irish businessman Derek Richardson became principal shareholder of Wasps group in April 2013, guiding the group from the brink of insolvency to administration in October 2022 with over £100m of debt.[52]


On 29 April 2021, Wasps announced a new multi-year deal with Danish sportswear manufacturer Hummel to become 'technical and retail partner'. The contract, commencing the 2021–22 season, would see Wasps become the first British domestic rugby union team to use the company.[53]

Previous manufacturers include Canterbury and Kukri. The first away kit produced by Kukri in 2012 (a hooped blue away shirt) was a change from the white or black and gold hoops traditionally used as a tie in with the clubs chosen charity MIND in a combined effort to help raise the awareness of mental health issues in sport.[54]

Current kit

The kit is supplied by Under Armour. On the front of the shirt, Vodafone appear at the centre and the top left while Dell EMC appears on the top of their collars. On the back of the shirt, DS Smith appear at the top while Dell EMC appear on top of the squad number. Hottinger Group appear on the top of the right arm. Land Rover appear on the bottom right on the back of their shorts.

Notable former players

See also: Category:Wasps RFC players

Rugby World Cup

The following are players which have represented their countries at the Rugby World Cup, whilst playing for Wasps:

Tournament Players selected England players Other national team players
1987 6 Rob Andrew, Mark Bailey, Huw Davies, Jeff Probyn, Paul Rendall, Kevin Simms
1991 4 Rob Andrew, Chris Oti, Jeff Probyn, Paul Rendall
1995 2 Rob Andrew, Damien Hopley
1999 6 Lawrence Dallaglio, Martyn Wood, Joe Worsley Andy Reed, Kenny Logan Scotland, Trevor Leota Samoa
2003 6 Stuart Abbott, Lawrence Dallaglio, Josh Lewsey, Simon Shaw, Joe Worsley Kenny Logan Scotland
2007 10 Lawrence Dallaglio, Josh Lewsey, Tom Rees, Paul Sackey, Simon Shaw, Joe Worsley, Phil Vickery (c) Daniel Leo Samoa, Raphaël Ibañez (c) France, Eoin Reddan Ireland
2011 9 Steve Thompson, Joe Simpson Genaro Fessia Argentina, Victor Gresev, Vladislav Korshunov (c) Russia, Paul Emerick United States, Tinus du Plessis, Heinz Koll Namibia, Zak Taulafo Samoa
2015 5 James Haskell, Joe Launchbury Bradley Davies Wales, Lorenzo Cittadini, Andrea Masi Italy
2019 2 Joe Launchbury Matteo Minozzi Italy

Lions tourists

The following players have been selected to tour with the Lions while members of Wasps:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "History 1867–1930 London Wasps". Wasps.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Wasps set for move to Coventry". 7 October 2014 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/wasps-placed-into-administration-as-holding-company-ceases-trading-42072897.html
  4. ^ "Dai Young: Wasps director of rugby leaves Premiership club after nine years". BBC Sport. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Bridge, Bobby (17 October 2022). "Wasps' administration confirmed as 167 employees made redundant". CoventryLive. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  6. ^ "Wasps suspended from Premiership and set to enter administration 'within days'". BBC Sport. 12 October 2022. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
  7. ^ "The 1930s – London Wasps". Wasps.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Wasps thrown out of Powergen Cup". BBC. 23 December 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  9. ^ "Backrow". Wasps.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  10. ^ "Wales 27–18 England". BBC. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  11. ^ "Wasps 35–13 Leinster". BBC. 31 March 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  12. ^ "Lions coach is forced out by Wasps". Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  13. ^ "McGeechan's Wasps exit confirmed". BBC News. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  14. ^ Averis, Mike (1 November 2011). "England and Wales on alert as Shaun Edwards leaves London Wasps". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ Saracens – London Wasps: 15–20 (Match Report) ScoresPro.com
  16. ^ London Wasps – Leicester Tigers: 35–29 (Match Report) ScoresPro.com
  17. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup Pool Four: Viadana 17–90 London Wasps". BBC Sport. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  18. ^ Staff, ESPN. "Wasps drop 'London' prefix". ESPN scrum.
  19. ^ "Rugby club Wasps in talks to buy major stake in Ricoh Arena". Coventry Telegraph. 18 September 2014. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Ricoh Stadium Move". Wasps RFC. Wasps RFC. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Wasps Confirm 100% Shareholding In The Ricoh Arena". Wasps RFC. Wasps RFC. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  22. ^ Kitson, Robert (21 December 2014). "Andy Goode scores 33 points as Wasps thrash London Irish in Coventry debut". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  23. ^ "Wasps' 150th Anniversary Game". www.wasps.co.uk.
  24. ^ "Wasps Group agree major new stadium naming rights deal". www.wasps.co.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Wasps Logo Evolves". www.wasps.co.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  26. ^ Almeida, Lauren (8 July 2022). "Despair for investors trapped in Wasps' £35m bond". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
  27. ^ Cameron, Ian (13 August 2022). "Wasps owner hits back at 'ill-informed' rumours about club". Rugby Pass. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
  28. ^ "Statement from Wasps Holding Limited". Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  29. ^ "RFU statement confirming Wasps suspension from Gallagher Premiership Rugby". Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  30. ^ https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/rugby/wasps-wasps-nine-figure-debt-25299319
  31. ^ "Wasps suspended from Gallagher Premiership Rugby and the Premiership Rugby Cup". Premiership Rugby. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  32. ^ "Club History". www.wasps.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  33. ^ Lovell-Smith, Ben (17 December 2019). "The Unique History that ties Harlequins and Wasps". Last Word on Rugby. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  34. ^ "Wasps Netball situation 'unprecedented' after holding company goes into administration". BBC Sport. 17 October 2022. Retrieved 27 October 2022. ((cite news)): Check |url= value (help)
  35. ^ "Stadium". Sportnetwork. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  36. ^ "Rugby Union: Few thrills but tills keep ringing at double-header". Find Articles. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  37. ^ "Wanderers and Wasps air park plan". Bucks Free Press.
  38. ^ "MD holds interview". chairboys. June 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  39. ^ Hamilton, Fiona (3 December 2008). "Wycombe chief takes control at Wasps". The Times. London. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  40. ^ "HAYES BECOMES WASPS DIRECTOR". Wycombe Wanderers. 24 August 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  41. ^ "Steve Hayes Announced as Wasps Director". rugbynetwork.net. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  42. ^ "Loans.co.uk sponsor Wasps RFC challenge". Loans.co.uk. 15 May 2004. Retrieved 3 December 2008.[dead link]
  43. ^ "Steve Hayes unveiled as new London Wasps owner". thisislondon.co.uk. 3 December 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  44. ^ "Hayes takes over at Wasps". Sky Sports. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  45. ^ "London Wasps: Derek Richardson takes over Premiership club". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  46. ^ "Wasps move Cup opener to Coventry". BBC Sport. 17 September 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2007.
  47. ^ "Copsey: Coventry move vindicated". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  48. ^ Hands, David (12 November 2007). "Wasps hold off fierce challenge after Riki Flutey finds the right notes". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  49. ^ Bridge, Bobby; 05:00, 20 Oct 2020Updated14:02 (20 October 2020). "Wasps' new training ground plans recommended for approval". CoventryLive. Retrieved 1 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  50. ^ "Senior Squad". Wasps. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  51. ^ "Academy Players". Wasps. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  52. ^ https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/rugby/wasps-wasps-nine-figure-debt-25299319
  53. ^ "Wasps Agree Club-Record Deal With hummel". www.wasps.co.uk. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  54. ^ "Wasps Announce Apparel Deal with Kukri | Rugby Shirts". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

Coordinates: 52°26′53.00″N 1°29′44.00″W / 52.4480556°N 1.4955556°W / 52.4480556; -1.4955556