Wasps have added four schoolboys to their Senior Academy squad for the 2016/17 season.
The four players will join the Senior Academy full time once their school studies have finished this summer. Two are promoted from the junior academy, with two others joining the club from other junior academies.
Henley College’s Connor Eastgate and St Benedict’s Ehize Ehizode are both promoted from within the Wasps ranks. Both players played key roles in the Wasps U18 side this year and both have also made a number of appearances for the Wasps A team.
Eastgate is a fly half and was captain of the U18 side, while Ehizode is a second row, who will likely look forward to learning from the likes of England’s man of the match on Sunday, Joe Launchbury.
Joining those two as schoolboys turning full time professionals are Jacob Umaga and Jarod Leat. Both players are England U18 internationals who played important roles in England’s triumphant U18 5 Nations campaign over the Easter period.
Umaga, who can play both fly half and inside centre, joins from Leicester Tigers and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College, while Leat, a loosehead prop, joins from London Irish and their AASE affiliate College, St Paul’s Catholic College.
The club also announced the extension of the contracts of eight of last year’s Senior Academy squad. Will Stuart, Tom West, and Jack Willis all featured for England U20 this year and will be at the World Rugby U20 Championships in Manchester throughout June, all three have had their contracts extended.
Piers O’Connor will also stay with the senior Academy, the fullback has starred on loan for Bedford Blues this year and excelled for the England U20 side last year.
Joining Leat, Stuart, and West as a front rower in the Senior Academy is George Edgson, who also has his contract extended, along with former Wellington centre Conor Dolan, former Shiplake College wing Tom Howe, and ex Harrow full back/fly half, Owain James.
Speaking to the Wasps website on the announcement of the Senior Academy intake, Academy Manager Matt Davies said:
“I’m really excited about the current group of players that we have and am looking forward to seeing how those stepping up will do next season. Hopefully they will be able to contribute to the future of the club and eventually some of them may become Wasps Senior Squad members.”
Wasps 2016/17 Senior Academy:
Conor Dolan (Wasps Academy) – Centre
Connor Eastgate (Henley College) – Fly Half
George Edgson (Wasps Academy) – Front Row
Ehize Ehizode (St Benedict’s) – Second Row
Tom Howe (Wasps Academy) – Wing
Owain James (Wasps Academy) – Utility Back
Jarod Leat (London Irish) – Front Row
Piers O’Conor (Wasps Academy) – Fullback
Will Stuart (Wasps Academy) – Front Row
Jacob Umaga (Leicester Tigers) – Utility Back
Tom West (Wasps Academy) – Front Row
Jack Willis (Wasps Academy) – Back Row