Joe Simpson injury: Wasps sign Bristol scrum-half Craig Hampson

Joe Simpson
Australia-born Joe Simpson has scored one try in 15 appearances for Wasps this season

Wasps have signed scrum-half Craig Hampson as cover from Championship leaders Bristol on loan after losing first-choice scrum-half Joe Simpson for 12 weeks with an ankle injury.

Simpson, 27, has had to undergo surgery after suffering the injury in Wasps' 51-10 European Champions Cup win over Leinster on Saturday.

But Wasps have responded quickly by bringing in 25-year-old Hampson.

"Joe's injury leaves us a little light at scrum-half," said boss Dai Young.

"It is great that we have been able to bring in Craig so quickly. He has impressed in the Championship for both Bristol and Yorkshire Carnegie.

"It is obviously disappointing for everyone that Joe has had to undergo surgery on his ankle, especially at a time when he was playing so well. I'm sure he was knocking on the door for international recognition."

Simpson's injury, just a week before the start of the Six Nations, ends any hopes he might have had of getting an England recall this season under new coach Eddie Jones.

This is the luckless Simpson's second major injury in less than a year, having been stretchered off in the 26-21 home defeat by Leicester last May with a medial collateral ligament blow, which finally ended his hopes of making the World Cup squad.

Bristol make room for Hampson's exit

Bristol had already prepared for Hampson's departure by bringing in former Wales international Martin Roberts from Pro12 side Ospreys on a deal until the end of next season.

With former Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel and Andy Uren sidelined through injury, Roberts will be competing with Will Cliff and Will Homer for the scrum-half jersey.

Hampson has so far made 39 appearances for Bristol, largely as as understudy to Peel, since signing from Yorkshire Carnegie ahead of the 2014-15 season.