Jimmy Gopperth: Wasps back among five players to sign new contracts

Jimmy Goperth
Jimmy Goperth has scored 771 points for Wasps since signing from Newcastle in 2015

Premiership club Wasps have signed five players on new, undisclosed-length contracts, including injured New Zealand-born fly-half Jimmy Gopperth.

The 35-year-old was initially ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in August.

But Gopperth is now expected to make it back before the season ends in May.

England hooker Tommy Taylor, 27, South Africa's Ashley Johnson, 32, and loose-head props Simon McIntyre, 27, and Ben Harris, 27, have also signed new deals.

Wasps are fourth in the Premiership table following Sunday's 24-14 loss at home to Bath.

"With five experienced players penning new deals it sends out a really positive message to some of our younger players," Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said.

"Both Jimmy and Ashley are fantastic athletes who give absolutely everything. Their experience across the board is crucial, not only in matches, but in helping develop some of our younger players.

"Si, Tommy and Ben have all been tremendous performers in the front row in recent seasons."

After their fourth league defeat in five games, they now trail third-placed Gloucester by eight points- and are only eight points off the bottom in this season's tightly contested table.

But there was some consolation as the game against Bath was watched by a crowd of 31,626, the second highest at the Ricoh Arena since Wasps made the stadium their home.

Their Premiership semi-final against Leicester Tigers in May 2015 attracted 32,019 spectators.

Five players: 440 games for Wasps

Gopperth has amassed 771 points, largely with his kicking, in 78 appearances, since arriving from Newcastle in 2015, and won the Premiership Golden Boot in 2016-17.

Johnson, who plays at both hooker and flanker, has scored 38 tries in 175 games since signing from Free State Cheetahs in 2012.

McIntyre, the longest-serving of the five players, has made 153 appearances since moving from Sale in 2011, while Taylor has played 41 times since his 2016 move from the Sharks.

Harris, played for Rotherham, Yorkshire Carnegie and Newcastle before joining Wasps in 2017 and has since made 33 appearances.

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