Chris Bell insists Wasps’ bright new Aviva Premiership Rugby future is not only down to their move to the Ricoh Arena, after a host of key faces committed themselves to the club.
It has been a busy week in Coventry, with seven players – including Bell – signing new contracts this week, while Gloucester Rugby scrum-half Dan Robson was announced as the club’s latest signing from the end of the season on Thursday.
But 32-year-old centre Bell admitted it was head coach Dai Young’s penning of a new deal that has ensured the club will continue to develop.
“It’s brilliant to sign on again and to be honest it was quite an easy decision for me to make,” said Bell. “Everything is only getting better at Wasps, and I’d like to play as big a part of that as possible.
“It’s good to have the healthy level of competition that we have here for places, as it’s a challenge that keeps you fresh and keeps you going.
“Dai has obviously done a fantastic job, and it’s great as a player to have to continuity and know that he’s going to be here for a long time.
“It’s certainly played a part in so many signing long-term contracts to know that the management staff will stay the same and the club will continue to grow.
“Joe Simpson has been fantastic the last couple of years at scrum-half and is now a big player and a big leader in this team, but we’ve all seen what Robson can do in a Gloucester shirt.
“Dan will have a tough challenge ahead of him to get into the team, but it will be great to see the competition and will only help Wasps.”
Wasps have hit a purple patch of form of late, winning all three of their Aviva Premiership Rugby matches since their move to the Ricoh Arena.
And Bell is hoping their new home will continue to develop into the fortress Wasps envisaged ahead of the move to the midlands.
He said: “It’s been really pleasing to get three victories over the Christmas period. It’s the part of the season you need to pick up the points, and the manner of the victories in particular was really good.
“There is obviously a lot more of our game to work on and improve to become more dangerous, but everyone is trying hard and performing well.
“It’s a great feeling playing in front of so many people, and brilliant to see so many new supporters getting behind the team.
“We really can’t thank everyone enough for coming along as it makes the atmosphere amazing. Fair enough getting 28,000 for the first game at the Ricoh, but to get 15,000 for the second was remarkable.
“So we love being there and we are playing well there, and long may that continue.”
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