25th Jun, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Gaskell: Perfect time to explore move abroad ahead of final Wasps outing against Tigers

JAMES GASKELL feels it is the “perfect time” for him to move abroad ahead of his final game for Wasps against Leicester Tigers this weekend.

Gaskell has been with the club for the last eight years and has made more than 150 appearances for Wasps since arriving from Sale Sharks back in 2014.

And Wasps have it all to do on the final day of the Gallagher Premiership season, knowing only a win against league leaders Leicester Tigers will secure a top-eight finish and Champions Cup rugby next season.

Whilst Gaskell admitted the club feels like home, the 32-year-old believes it is the right time to move abroad as he looks to realise a long-term ambition after it was confirmed he would depart Wasps at the end of the season.

Gaskell said: “I spoke to Lee at the end of last year about me extending for a couple more years but for me the ambition and goal was always to play abroad at some point.

“If I didn’t do it now I probably would never do it, me and Lee had some pretty honest conversations really early on and I said I wanted to explore that.

“The goal was to get abroad with the family and experience something different, my little girl is only 15 months at the moment so it’s the perfect time to do it.

“The club has become home, it’s meant a hell of a lot to me over the last eight years and it felt like now was the right time to do it.”

The second-row admitted that Leicester away is his favourite fixture and hopes to leave the club on the best possible terms by securing a top-eight finish.

Gaskell added: “Leicester at Welford Road says it all.

“Throughout the years I’ve played it’s my favourite place to play, walking down through the crowd, you know what you’re walking into.

“It’s traditional Leicester, it’s going to be class, it’s my favourite fixture and I want to leave the club in the best possible way.

“That means the club being in Champions Cup rugby next year, we’re fully aware of what we have to go and do, there would be no better way to leave the club than achieving that.”

Wasps travel to Leicester on Saturday, June 4 with kick-off at 3pm at Welford Road.

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