Cheetah turned Wasp provides great back row combination

Cheetah turned Wasp provides great back row combination

Tom Varndell rates the back row combination they now have at Wasps

South African back-rower Ashley Johnson has made a huge impact since joining the club this season.

When it was announced in the summer that he was joining us from the Free State Cheetahs, it was obvious he had been tearing up the Super 15 for a few years and had huge potential.

But only when you see someone in the flesh and play with them regularly, do you know what they can do.

It has not taken him long to show us just that and the results have proven what a great player he is.

His natural game is an off-loading one and, with his carrying ability and Billy Vunipola next to him in the back row, they are a fantastic combination.

He has fitted in well within the squad too - as have all of the boys who have arrived at Wasps this summer.

Guys like Andrea Masi, Stephen Jones and James Haskell have all added a freshness to the place and with some good results recently, there is a good buzz around the camp at the minute.

We know we can get a lot better but it was a case of 'job done' in Europe in the Amlin Cup.

We got the wins we needed against the Dragons and Italian side Mogliano which sets us up nicely for the double header with Bayonne that will probably decide our group.

I was rested for the Mogliano game which was both good and bad. It's a long season and it's always nice to have a rest and a break from training and playing at times.

But any player will tell you that they would like to play every game if they could. There is always the danger that someone will come into your position, have a blinder and keep you out of the team the following week.

Luckily, it was just the one week off and it was good to get back to Adams Park for another win and another try last weekend which came at the end of a terrific move from the boys. Our win over London Welsh keeps us unbeaten on home soil this season in the Aviva Premiership.

Making Adams Park into a fortress was one of the things we discussed at the start of the season. Let's hope it continues.

In other news, as we head into the LV= Cup period soon, I am hoping there will be another 'music video' coming out of the Wasps camp as a follow up to our summer YouTube hit "Call Me Maybe" which now has over 50,000 hits. The boys are excited. It's time to deliver.


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