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Premiership

Wasps Elite Performance and Innovation Centre officially opened

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(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Wasps Rugby have officially opened the doors of their new state-of-the-art Elite Performance and Innovation Centre – which gives the club one of the finest training complexes in English rugby.

The multi-million-pound centre at Henley-in-Arden will be the new home of Wasps’ men’s first team and academy.

It has taken six months to build the facility on the 13-acre site at a cost of £4 million, with the construction project completed by Warwickshire-based development partner Wigley Building & Development.

Staff and players have now started to use the facility as they prepare for the start of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season on Saturday 25 September against Bristol Bears at Coventry Building Society Arena.

The Elite Performance and Innovation Centre will be Wasps first permanent training ground of its own since leaving Sudbury in 1999.

It features a grass pitch which is identical in size to the pitch at the club’s home ground Coventry Building Society Arena. A 3G plus surface has also been installed next to the grass pitch to allow for training in all weather conditions.

Work has included the creation of a purpose-built gym – kitted out by Nuneaton specialist Indigo Fitness – and the construction of a media centre, medical complex and offices for coaching and administration staff.

For player recovery there are two large hydrotherapy pools and a sauna – as directly requested by England and Wasps star Jack Willis, named in his honour!

To make the facility as eco-friendly as possible low energy LED lighting has been installed on the sport pitches and car parks, and Wasps has introduced significant waste recycling measures, including for the cut grass.

Wasps have also worked with ecologists and arborists to create a wildlife catchment area in a pond on the site, with the pool also providing a water run-off for the two rugby pitches nearby.

The Elite Performance and Innovation Centre sees Wasps lay down further roots in Coventry and Warwickshire and signals a move to strengthen the club’s position in the region.

As part of a commitment to the local community, the Wasps Community Foundation will also be working to develop grassroots sport in Henley-in-Arden.

Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group Chief Executive, said: “The new training centre provides the perfect professional environment to support the development of elite athletes and is without doubt one of the finest training complexes in the sport.

“This has been a significant investment and signals an exciting new era for the club. It is an investment that not only supports the Wasps players of today but will be essential to the growth of the players of tomorrow in our academy.

“It’s important for us that we have a positive impact in the communities we work in and we will be rolling out an extensive programme to support grass roots sports in Henley-in-Arden and the surrounding areas in the coming months.”

Lee Blackett, Wasps Men’s Head Coach, said: “The new performance centre is a real boost for the Club, it is great to have our own permanent home.

“The facility is amazing and provides us with one of the best training environments in the Premiership. These are exciting times for everybody connected to Wasps.”

2021/22 Season Memberships are on sale now. To buy and for more information, click here.

Source – Wasps Rugby


Premiership

Cokanasiga confirms future

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Bath Rugby can confirm England international Joe Cokanasiga has committed his future to the club.

The 25-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring four tries in nine Gallagher Premiership matches to date, and joins Tom Dunn, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Cameron Redpath and Ben Spencer in extending his time at The Rec. 

“Joe has been excellent for us this season and we’re delighted he will be staying with us,” Head of Rugby Johann van Graan said.

“He has great physical attributes which he uses to great effect, and his offloading ability in contact has provided us with fantastic attacking opportunities.

“He is an exciting player for us and we have no doubt he will continue to be an integral member of our squad.”



Cokanasiga has flourished under van Graan and has had a notable influence in games due to his power and pace. 

Since arriving in the West Country, the bulldozing wing has featured over 50 times for the Blue, Black and White whilst also making a significant impact on the international stage.

Debuting in 2018 against Japan, Cokanasiga has scored 12 tries in 14 Test matches, adding to his 21 in Bath colours. 

“There are goals I still want to accomplish here,” he said. 

“I really want to mark my time at the club by winning trophies; that’s a big ambition of mine. 

“A lot of change has taken place over the past few years, but this season I’ve found consistency in my performances. I feel I’ve positively contributed to the club’s progression and I’m excited by what’s to come in the next chapter.”


 

JOIN JOE AT THE REC FOR OUR REMAINING HOME GAMES!

Bath Rugby return to action on Saturday 18 February against London Irish before hosting Bristol Bears on Friday 24 February.

Exeter Chiefs head to The Rec on Sunday 26 March in our penultimate home outing.

Whatever takes your fancy, get your tickets!

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!


 

 

Content & Images from – Bath Rugby


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Premiership

Chiefs fullback agrees new deal

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
31/1/23

Josh Hodge says he’s ‘over the moon’ to have agreed a new long-term deal with the Exeter Chiefs.

The gifted full-back has pledged his future to the Devon club and believes an exciting period lies ahead for him and everyone at Sandy Park.

Signed in the summer of 2020 from Gallagher Premiership rivals Newcastle Falcons, the 22-year-old has to date made 37 first-team appearances, scoring 39 points in all competitions.

He is seen by many, including Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, as one of the crown jewels in Exeter’s exciting vision for the future and news that he is staying put for the foreseeable future will be welcomed by everyone connected with the Chiefs.

“To be honest, it wasn’t a hard decision to sign a new contract with this fantastic club,” said Hodge. “Personally, I’m over the moon and I’m looking forward to my future here in the sunny county of Devon.

“There has been a lot of effort, good business decisions and hard work, both in training and on the pitch, to achieve the results the club has achieved in recent years.”

Alongside Hodge, the Chiefs are investing heavily in bringing through their next crop of young talent, such as Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza, Marcus Street, Richard Capstick, Sam Maunder, Will Becconsall and Greg Fisilau to name but a few.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team to help the club attain its rightful position towards the top of all the competitions we take part in and justify the efforts of past players and trainers,” added Hodge.

“All the building blocks have been put in place by the board, backroom staff and coaches and it’s up to the team to work tirelessly to put the cherry on the cake and deliver the results the Chiefs and our fans deserve.”

Others within the current Chiefs ranks are expected to confirm they are also extending their stays with the club in the coming days and weeks.

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


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Premiership

Tigers sign Brown on short-term contract

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Leicester Tigers can confirm the signing of Mike Brown on a short-term contract.

The outside-back joins Tigers after previously representing Harlequins, where he won two Premiership titles, and Newcastle Falcons.

Brown has made 72 Test appearances for England and featured in three Six Nations winning campaigns for the national side.

Speaking about the addition of Brown, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Richard Wigglesworth said: “Mike is an experienced Premiership player, who has represented his country and won trophies at club and Test level.

“His experience and his knowledge is vital during this Six Nations period where we have a number of players away.

“Mike is hungry to prove himself out on the pitch and impressed us with not only what he’s saying and doing off the pitch, but his efforts on the field and willingness to help those guys around him.

“Above all, Mike is a competitor and wants to be successful. We want those attributes in our players and he offers that.”

Discussing the move to Leicester Tigers, Brown said: “To join a club like this with all of its history and players who have been here before, it is amazing.”

“When Leicester Tigers offer you the chance to go into the environment, it is a hard one to turn down.”

Brown joins after a trial period at the club, about which he added: “To get the chance to come into the environment has been great so far and a really positive experience for me.”

“It has just had a great impression on me, led by enthusiastic coaches – one of which in Wiggy I have played a lot of rugby with – and then equally, all of the players have welcomed me in.

“I have felt sharp and it has been really good out on the field with this group of Tigers players.”

Brown recently featured for The Barbarians and, looking ahead to a potential return to professional rugby, said: “I still believe I have a part to play in the game. I didn’t believe it was my time to stop because I felt good and I still feel good.”

“I have been staying fit, wanting to be ready and not just hanging on to hope but being best prepared if it did.”

Brown joins the club effective immediately.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby


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