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Premiership Leaders Wasps Considering Establishing Rugby League Side

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: A Wasps shirt during the Wasps squad photocall for the 2016-2017 Aviva Premiership Rugby season on August 17, 2016 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

It may have been a dismal week for Wasps on the field, but off-field the Premiership leaders have been making some very interesting moves.

During a weekend which saw Wasps downed 32-17 by Leinster in their European Champions Cup quarter-final in Dublin, Wasps chief executive David Armstrong was making headlines of a very different sort.

As reported by the BBC, the club are interested in establishing a rugby league franchise, which would also operate from Coventry.

The move is far from certain at this moment in time as the club are eager to test the viability of rugby league in the region, but should they deem the local support sufficient, their plans are likely to become reality.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s rugby league podcast, Armstrong said:

“We’re trying to grow awareness of the sport.

“If that did work, then we would have a serious look at it.”

David Armstrong.


Wasps have been somewhat nomadic in recent years, only moving to Coventry from London two years ago, but their success is inarguable, both on the league table and in the stands. They expect their average home attendance this year to be 17,000 and are now eager to translate such success to league as well.

League is hardly alien to the general Coventry area, where clubs such as the Coventry Bears and Birmingham Bulldogs both ply their trade, although neither can claim to have experienced success at the pinnacle of the sport and their attendances pale in comparison to those at Wasps as a result.

Success is infectious however, and should Wasps bring rugby league success to the region, the midlands may find a lot more league supporters coming out of the woodwork.

The move is certainly a novel one and could well provide a boost to the coffers of Wasps as a whole should the league club prove as popular as their union equivalent.

In the light of events at the Aviva Stadium last weekend, however, Wasps supporters would likely appreciate if their club concentrated their efforts on union, at least for the time being.

Colm Egan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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