WASPS’ director of rugby Dai Young has finally landed his man after English-qualified back row Matt Symons agreed to join the club ahead of the 2016/17 season.
The 26-year-old was born in England but moved to New Zealand four years ago where he quickly rose through the ranks with the Chiefs to become their vice-captain for the 2015 campaign.
After two seasons in the Chiefs’ first team, Symons returned to the UK last season to join London Irish, where he impressed in his 20 games, frequently captaining the side and being voted ‘Player of the Season.’
Young admits he has been keeping tabs on Symons’ progress since his move abroad and feel his latest signing provides more strength and depth to his side.
“Matt is a very talented player and we’re really pleased to have him join the squad ahead of next season,” said Young.
“We have taken a keen interest in him since his rise with the Chiefs in New Zealand and his physicality and lineout authority have impressed once again with London Irish this season, where he has been their stand-out player.
“We have a number of very talented second rows at the club. Matt will add a great deal to that group as we continue to strive for improvement and we’re looking forward to having him on board next season.”
Symons will join a very competitive group of second rows at Wasps next season with the likes of Joe Launchbury, James Gaskell, Kearnan Myall, James Cannon and Will Rowlands already fighting for a starting position, with Bradley Davies returning to Wales.
Matt Symons is the ninth new signing ahead of the 2016/17 season, with Kurtley Beale, Tommy Taylor, Danny Cipriani, Marty Moore, Guy Armitage, Craig Hampson, Tom Woolstencroft and Marcus Garratt already announced.
“Wasps is a club that has played an exciting style and successful style of rugby this season,” added Symons. “After speaking with Dai, I was very excited at the direction the team is headed in and look forward to joining up with them in the summer.”