Jun 2 2010 By Tim Edwards
Richard Haughton admits he has a big season ahead with Wasps after joining on a two-year deal from London rivals Saracens.
The 29-year-old ended his long association with the Men in Black, Saturday's beaten Guinness Premiership finalists, to join a club he believes can give his old club a run for their money next season. He made 165 appearances for Sarries, 19 of them this season, and his speed and versatility – he can play at 15 or on the wing – not to mention his experience made him a top target for several clubs both here and abroad.
However Haughton, who has scored more than 100 tries in the World Sevens stage and has represented England at A, U21 and U18 level, opted for the short switch to Adams Park.
He said: “Wasps have a hugely impressive history of success and a very focused and exciting view towards the future – something I am really looking forward to being a part of.
“For me it is the right time for my next challenge and the Wasps set-up is one which players seem to really respond to.
“ To have the opportunity to join a club with such quality coaches and players and to test myself in a different environment sets up a really big season for me – a challenge that I really relish.”
Wasps Director of Rugby, Tony Hank, added: “Richard is a top quality player who is equally comfortable at wing and fullback and brings with him a host of experience in the game. He is a player that both Shaun (Edwards) and I have admired for a number of years and we are very pleased he has decided to join Wasps. He is a very valuable addition to the squad.”
Meanwhile, Hanks has backed Joe Simpson to bounce back from his England disappointment, The scrum-half was forced to withdraw from their summer tour of Australia and New Zealand after injuring his left hamstring in Sunday's MasterCard Trophy win over the Barbarians.
Hanks said: “We are extremely disappointed for Joe, especially as he also missed out on selection for this year’s Six Nations with a shoulder injury. I am confident Joe would have made a very strong impression on the tour and performed really well, but now our focus is on getting him back to full fitness.”