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09th Jan 2022

Wasps give fans something to cheer about after tough transfer news

Patrick McCarry


This result brought some much needed joy and relief to Wasps.

Wasps had a hard-fought an emotional win over Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers today. They did so without 17 senior players, including All Blacks Malaki Fekitoa and Vaea Fifita.

The English side may as well get used to the feeling, as both men are set to move on from Coventry at the end of this season.

Starting the weekend in the lower reaches of the Gallagher Premiership, Wasps handed Leicester Tigers their first defeat of the league season with a dogged 16-13 final scoreline.

With Wasps reportedly £60million in debt and needing to cut the wage bill considerably, they will be looking at more home-grown talents, youngsters and veterans for the next stretch. That means New Zealand internationals Fifita and Fekitoa will be looking elsewhere for their club rugby.

Fifita, it was confirmed by The Telegraph on Saturday, is moving to United Rugby Championship side Scarlets at the end of this season. Capped 12 times by the ABs but not selected for the 2019 World Cup, Fifita would add considerable oomph to the Scarlets back row.

Fekitoa has seemed close to the exit door for much of the season, and he was linked with several Top 14 clubs, but Munster appear to have won the race for his signature.

Malakai Fekitoa pictured during a Bledisloe Cup game at Eden Park in 2016. (Credit: Getty Images)

Malakai Fekitoa signing for Munster, according to reports

Currently one of 17 senior stars missing from the Wasps squad – through injury, suspension or Civid protocols – Fekitoa watched his side beat Leicester 16-13 at The Ricoh Arena this afternoon.

The win gives the likes of Saracens and Harlequins a title boost, and succeeded in moving Wasps from 10th to 8th in the Premiership table. They lost their Champions Cup opener against Munster and their next game, against Toulouse, was postponed when the Covid Omicron variant swept across Europe.

Fekitoa has been with Wasps since 2019, after he spent two seasons in the south of France with Toulon. He won the last of his 24 Test caps with New Zealand in 2017. He has since played Sevens rugby for Tonga and wants to play Test rugby for them too.

Munster could be losing a southern hemisphere star of their own – in Damian De Allende – at the end of the season, and Fekitoa would be a handy signing. At present, only Rory Scannell, Dan Goggins and Chris Farrell are viable inside centre options for Munster. The Munster academy does not currently have any centres.

It has been reported in The Rugby Paper, and followed up by Rugby Pass, that Munster are set to capture Fekitoa on a two-year deal.

In need of a major pick-me-up, veteran outhalf Jimmy Gopperth and his teammates delivered today. There is a pulse at Wasps, after all.