Dean Ryan questions Wasps' potential move to the Midlands

Ricoh Arena
The Ricoh Arena is one stadium linked with Wasps

Worcester Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan has expressed his concerns over reports linking Premiership side Wasps with a move to the Midlands.

After 12 years at Adams Park, the near-century old rugby club are understoodexternal-link to have considered a move to Coventry's Ricoh Arena, where they once played a Heineken Cup game in 2007.

"I don't know how feasible the story is," Ryan said.

"To plonk a Premiership club in there would create enormous challenges."

Having failed to find a new home close to their current base, sharing with Wycombe Wanderers, Wasps are also reported to have looked at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium - primarily an athletics venue.

Both grounds would be in Worcester's catchment area, from the point of view of both spectators and future rugby players. And that would also, argues Ryan, be a concern for Premiership sides Leicester and Northampton, who also target the Coventry and Warwickshire area from the east side of the Midlands.

Wandering Wasps
1923 - Having started life in Finchley Road, Wasps moved into their first permanent home at Sudbury.
1996 - When the ground at Sudbury was sold for housing, the club moved across West London to share QPR's home at Loftus Road.
2002 - Moved again, further west to Wycombe Wanderers' home at Adams Park.
2006 - Played their season opener on a double bill at Twickenham.
2007 - Played at the Ricoh Arena for the first time, beginning their defence of the Heineken Cup in Coventry against Munster, in front of a crowd of 21,506.

"I can't imagine we're the loudest voice," Ryan told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

"There'd be two major players on the other side of Warwickshire with louder voices than us, who won't be over the moon about it either.

"We're investing a lot of money in the region. We've got an academy. We're all working for the same thing. We have support that comes from that area and kids who come from that area. Warwickshire has been over the years a productive source for us.

"I can't quite see the merits of this, other than purely commercial for Wasps' first team.

"If it was to be a realistic story, there would have to be an opportunity to talk about how that's been allowed, why it's been allowed or whether it would be allowed.

"There are other considerations that need to be made."

A club statement, released by Wasps last week, said: "Wasps are aware of media reports in recent days linking the club to a number of possible new stadiums.

Wasps' former home at Sudbury
Wasps spent 73 years playing rugby at their long-time home at Sudbury

"Wasps has made no secret of a desire to find a permanent home which reflects the ambitions of the club. We can confirm that search for a permanent home is continuing. However, all discussions are subject to confidentiality requirements and are therefore commercially sensitive.

"We appreciate speculation may be unsettling for our supporters and assure them we are working hard behind the scenes to secure the long-term success of the club and finding a new home we can all be proud of."

Ryan added: "Wasps seem to have struggled to find a home for a long time.

"Going back to my day, you'd need to be a very enthusiastic Wasps supporter to keep wandering around and following them."