Fixtures - Top Bar

Simpson’s England ambitions still burning bright

JoeSimpsonQuinWas1005SB1516

After a disastrous World Cup, changes are afoot with England and Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson knows that now is the time to shine if he is to add his solitary cap.

The 27-year-old finished last season in fine form for Dai Young’s side but a knee injury at the end of the season ruled him out of Stuart Lancaster’s plans for their pre-tournament training camps.

Since then Lancaster’s England have crashed out of the World Cup at the group stages and Aviva Premiership Rugby is now back in full swing.

Simpson started Wasps’ opener at the Stoop last Friday as they slipped to a narrow defeat to Harlequins.

Off-season signing Dan Robson is also breathing down Simpson’s neck for the Wasps No.9 jersey but the England international – he won his sole cap during the 2011 World Cup – insists he has big ambitions this season.

“Dan (Robson) has come in and that is definitely going to keep me on my toes,” he said.

“He played well off the bench last week and I am desperate to keep improving. I am coming into my prime now.

“I felt like last year was the best season of my career and I still want to push on, there are quite a few areas for me work on to keep improving.

“I want to be managing the team, bossing them around as one of the senior players now, I still have real ambitions with England as well.

“After the World Cup there may be some changes round there so I need to make sure that I am playing at the top of my game so that if any chance comes my way, I am ready to take it.”

It has been a summer of change for Wasps this off-season with some experienced names like Jimmy Gopperth and George Smith coming on board.

And while their season opened with a loss, Simpson is very excited about the potential of the side.

“Jimmy and Ruaridh (Jackson) are both great players,” he added.

“It feels like we have two brand new tens this year because Ruaridh only played about half an hour last season before he got injured.

“Andy Goode was great for us last year but those two offer us a bit more from an attacking point of view which is exciting for guys like Elliot (Daly) and Christian (Wade) out wide.

“In the forwards George Smith is a huge signing, the amount of captaincy and leadership experience we gain from one transfer is massive and we have already seen that in training, the coaches are keen to get his view on a lot of things.”

New signings might be catching the eye – All Black Charles Piutau will be linking up with Wasps next month – but there are plenty of big names already firmly installed at the Ricoh.

The likes of Joe Launchbury and James Haskell have returned from World Cup duty and will be available for selection this weekend when they take on Bath Rugby.

But it is No.8 Nathan Hughes, who qualifies for England on residency grounds in June next year, that Simpson is most excited about.

“Nathan was the best No.8 in the Premiership last season,” he added.

“His abilitly to get over the gainline and offload was better than anything I have seen from any other No.8s.

“He has got all the attributes and he is still so raw, he can still improve in every area and I am sure England will ask the question – they would be stupid not to.”

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem
 

Latest News

Bristol Rugby skipper David Lemi returns for Pau clash

David Lemi returns as skipper when Bristol Rugby face Pau in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday (3pm KO). Only…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Will Spencer and Connor Braid set for Worcester Warriors debuts

Worcester Warriors duo Will Spencer and Connor Braid will make their club debuts this Saturday when they take on Newport…

carlhogg1111sb1617

Exeter Chiefs side to face Bordeaux Begles

Nothing less than victory will suffice for Rob Baxter and his Exeter Chiefs side ahead of Sunday’s European Champions Cup…

Jack Nowell in last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena Wallaby signing Kurtley Beale…

Kurtley Beale will make his Wasps debut in the Champions Cup

England quartet return for Saracens European clash with Sale Sharks

Saracens have named their side to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round three of the European Rugby Champions Cup clash…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Harlequins team to play Timisoara Saracens

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Timisoara Saracens in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Leicester Tigers team news for European Champions Cup trip to Ireland

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's European Champions Cup trip to face Munster…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks name side to face Saracens in European Rugby Champions Cup

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday (kick off…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Ewels and Stooke back for Bath Rugby

Charlie Ewels and Elliott Stooke both return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up tomorrow when they face Cardiff Blues in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fisher hails ‘outstanding’ Gloucester Rugby after La Rochelle win

Gloucester Rugby ran in four tries as they romped to an impressive European Rugby Challenge Cup win over La Rochelle,…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Shervington re-joins Wasps on short-term contract

Edd Shervington has signed a three-month contract with the club to provide cover at hooker, following injuries to Tom Cruse…

Edd Shervington

Dean Hammond – We’ll play a positive brand of rugby

Winger Dean Hammond insists Worcester Warriors will play a positive brand of rugby as they prepare for Saturday's European Challenge…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…

tvrelease1111

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Sam Egerton ready for fierce Lyon challenge

Scrum-half Sam Egerton believes Newcastle Falcons can push on and meet ‘fire with fire’ against Lyon in the European Rugby…

Sam Egerton making a break against Ospreys in the Challenge Cup

Geoff Parling: Chiefs can draw European inspiration from last season’s heroics

Following two defeats from two, qualification for the European knock-out stages may look like mission improbable – but if there’s…

666709985_ht_1936_5ffe036790f2651d04cf02d772136916.jpg

Aaron Morris desperate for Quins to sort out away form

Aaron Morris is proud of Harlequins’ record at the Stoop but the full-back has warned his teammates the season will…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fenton-Wells confident Lam will make impact at Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby flanker Nick Fenton-Wells is confident the club have acquired a top coach in Pat Lam but won’t let…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library