Fixtures - Top Bar

Joe Simpson set to make 150th appearance for Wasps

The England scrum half, who came through Wasps Academy and made his debut aged 20, against Newcastle Falcons in October 2008, is on course to make his 150th appearance for the Club when he lines up against Bath at the Rec tomorrow.

"It's an honour to get even one appearance for Wasps, let alone 150,” said Simpson. "Growing up I enjoyed my rugby, but I didn't think I would ever be able to make a profession out of it.

"Just to be able to play in the same team as some of my heroes growing up was an honour for me. Being part of this team now is also a huge privilege. I still appreciate every day, even when it's raining and it's cold and miserable, the boys pick you up in training.

"To make 150 appearances for Wasps will be pretty special for me, particularly because I've grown up here at the Club. There's always something special about representing one club for a lengthy period of your career.

"I came through the Wasps Academy and they've taught me everything I know about the game here. Hopefully I've done my bit to repay the Club, through being loyal and sticking with Wasps through some of the more difficult times and now we're fortunate to be going through a purple patch. The ups and downs over the years have certainly made the journey more memorable and it's been an incredible honour every step of the way.

"My debut doesn't actually seem that long ago – it was in the LV= Cup against the Falcons up in Newcastle.  I came off the bench with 20 minutes to go and was lucky enough to score a try, which was a nice welcome into the team and a special moment for me.

"It was a great experience, but also fairly daunting one as well as there were huge characters in the team at that stage – Eoin Reddan was first choice scrum half then and we still had Josh Lewsey and that whole era. There were World Cup winners and internationals all around me, and I was this young kid who barely knew anything but was just starting out and trying to find my feet.”

Having seemingly been on the block for so long, the 26 year old is quick to nip any notion of being one of the older players in the bud: "I still feel as spritely as ever – don't go ageing me too quickly thank you,” he jokes. "I'd like to think I've accrued a bit of experience over the years, but I still feel like one of the young kids in the team to be honest. I still enjoy running about at training and feel pretty fresh.”

On a more poignant note, Simpson agreed there would be a time for quiet reflection and immense pride after the game when he is able to think of the people who have helped him to achieve the 150 milestone, particularly his mother Brigid who sadly passed away a year ago and is never far from his thoughts.

"She sacrificed so much for me, driving me all over the country from the age of 10, to club games and to England camps from Wolverhampton. Some of the locations were far from glamorous and I remember her standing watching in the pouring rain, all wrapped up! My family have always been incredibly supportive. Hopefully my brother and I have repaid my parents a little by giving them the enjoyment of watching us play.

"The emotion of what my parents have sacrificed to help me to reach this stage is always in the back of my mind and I will always be thankful for that, but come game time it will be business as usual, nothing different.  It's a huge game for us against Bath. They are a fantastic team and there are not many harder matches for me, so it's going to be tough.

"At the end of the game, hopefully we will be able to reflect on a win, but whatever the result, I'd like to think there will be time to take it all in and in a few years I will look back on the 150th appearance with immense pride.”

Latest News

Match Report: Wasps 35 Gloucester Rugby 22

Wasps utility back Jimmy Gopperth claimed 25 points including a hat-trick as his team restored a six-point advantage at the…

Match Report: Bristol Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 11

Gavin Henson kicked 12 points against former club Bath Rugby on his first Aviva Premiership Rugby start since October as…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 36 Newcastle Falcons 14

They may have gone above defending champions Saracens and into second place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter…

Match Reaction: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall picked out back rower Joel Conlon as the stand-out player in his side’s 29-18…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 24 Worcester Warriors 14

Jim Mallinder backed his side to continue their push up the table after they moved into Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 24 Worcester Warriors 14

Mikey Haywood scored two tries as Northampton Saints came from behind to down Worcester Warriors and move into Aviva Premiership Rugby's…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 36 Newcastle Falcons 14

Exeter Chiefs fought their way to a bonus point victory over Newcastle Falcons to move up to second in Aviva…

Match Report: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

Saracens recorded their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win since New Year’s Day with a 29-18 success over an in-form Sale…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Assistant coach Geordan Murphy tipped his cap to a steely second-half showing from the Leicester Tigers replacements, who changed the…

England Under-20 secure impressive bonus-point win over Italy

England secured their third bonus-point win of the 2017 Six Nations with an eight-try 46-0 victory over Italy at the…

Match Report: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Leicester Tigers’ impressive second-half comeback saw them score 24 unanswered points and stun hosts Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop to claim…