Player changes and my contract extension

Tom Varndell has signed a contract extension to stay at London Wasps

I was very happy to sign a contract extension at Wasps this week.

I am loving my rugby this season and am enjoying the banter and camaraderie within the set-up.

It’s great to be part of a winning Wasps side again after the difficulties of last year and Dai Young has built a culture we are all enjoying being a part of.

Contract time can be a difficult time for guys who are faced with agreeing to stay at one club or deciding to move to another.

There are so many issues that can influence your decision one way or another and one person who has had it harder than most this week has been our No.8, Billy Vunipola.

He decided his future was at Saracens – not here.

Billy is just 19 and one of the hottest players around the Aviva Premiership at the minute and we are all disappointed he has come to the decision he has for obvious reasons.

Part of Billy will have wanted to stay at Wasps because he has enjoyed himself here and has made a lot of good mates here.

But his brother, Mako, plays at Sarries and that would have played a part in his thinking.

There is still a lot of rugby to be played this season and Billy will be giving his all to make sure it is as successful a season as possible for this club.

When we get back on the pitch and Billy is wearing a black shirt, it will be like nothing has changed.

And it will be the same at all of the other 11 Premiership clubs, if one player leaves, someone else fills their shoes.

Clubs are constantly working to bring in new players and, if someone like Billy leaves, it also gives some of the younger players coming up through the ranks the chance to have a run in the team.

Sam Jones is just that sort of players and I am sure he will do well when he gets his chance.

It was the same when I left Leicester. As soon as you are gone, there are other people fighting for the shirt.

Billy got some stick on the fans forums and social media for leaving with people questioning his loyalty. I can understand how frustrated those fans must feel. Our fans are very loyal and they would anything for the club. They pay good money to watch us play and they go through the same rollercoaster of emotions when watching the side as we do playing. If not, more so. Us players come and go, but they are always there.

But players have a short earning span and they have to make the right decisions for themselves in their families. Sometimes, those decisions are hard to make and it can be almost impossible to please everyone.

ItÂ’s great to be part of a winning Wasps side and Dai Young has built a culture we are all enjoying

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Alberti said...

19 January 2013 13:09,

The previous two seasons have been difficult for most Wasps supporters with events both off and on the field affecting morale and confidence. A lot of the supporters' hopes for the future have been invested in the development of a special group of home grown young players. I think that a great deal of the bad reaction to Billy's announcement was that a bit of that hope was dashed just as things were beginning to go our way. Most understand that a professional sportsman's career is short and if a better offer is made it is difficult to turn down but it doesn't stop it from being a disappointment when it happens, particularly when it involves a special player. Suppporting a team is an emotional not a rational transaction and supporters should be excused a little emotional over-reaction when a bit of hope is extinguished.
So great news that you have resigned Tom as you are also a significant part of the supporters' hopes for the future.

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