Wasps: Matt Mullan and James Haskell to co-captain Wasps

Matt Mullan (left) and James Haskell combine to thwart Newcastle's Scott Lawson at Kingston Park
Matt Mullan (left) and James Haskell are two of Wasps' collection of four England internationals

Wasps have appointed co-captains 'to share the workload' for the forthcoming 2015-16 season, which begins next week.

James Haskell, skipper in 2014-15, will share leadership responsibilities with last season's vice captain Matt Mullan.

Former Worcester man Mullan, 28, has captained the squad during pre-season while fellow forward Haskell, 30, has been on England Rugby World Cup duty.

Although England are already out of the tournament, it is unclear how long a rest period the players will be given.

At this stage, Haskell would be expected to miss Wasps' Premiership opener at Harlequins on Friday, 16 October, less than 24 hours before England could have been playing in a quarter-final at Twickenham.

Co-captains' log . . .
England loose forward James Haskell, capped 61 times by his country, has played all his domestic club rugby with Wasps from 2002 to 2009, before returning to the club in 2012 after two seasons with Stade De France, followed by spells in Japan and New Zealand.
Front row forward Matt Mullan, has won five England caps, the first of them during his eight seasons with Worcester, before his move to Wasps in 2013.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says the telling factor in having two captains is that Wasps, who have played their home games at Coventry's Ricoh Arena since last December, are still effectively London-based, as far as the playing staff are concerned, for another year.

"With the squad having one more season training in Acton while playing our home matches in Coventry, the captaincy requirements are much higher than in a traditional role," he said. "Particularly in terms of the off-field role, helping to grow our support base in the Midlands.

"We have decided to appoint co-captains in order to share the workload and off-field captaincy commitments and allow the players enough time to focus on their own games, being able to rotate when necessary.

"James and Matt are both strong characters who I feel will lead the club brilliantly in 2015-16, which includes a more competitive than ever Premiership and one of the toughest pools in European history."

Wasps' announcement comes in the same week that Haskell was involved in a highly public exchange of social media views on Twitter in the wake of England's failure, with fellow flanker Neil Back, a former World Cup winner with England in 2003.

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