Wasps to develop talent
Last Updated: 04/09/07 11:37am
McGeechan: Developing talent
Wasps will continue their policy of developing English talent, says the club's director of rugby Ian McGeechan.
While many of the Wycombe-based club's rivals sign foreign players to bolster their squads, Wasps have a business model of producing players for England.
Last season's Heineken Cup winners have supplied seven players for England's World Cup squad for France - Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Worsley, Phil Vickery, Paul Sackey, Simon Shaw, Tom Rees and Josh Lewsey.
And another four - Danny Cipriani, Tom Palmer, James Haskell and Fraser Waters - were also competing for a place in the squad, with some only narrowly missing out.
While McGeechan admits investment underpins success, he believes Wasps should be praised for their policy of development.
"You're always looking for investment in the squad," he said.
"We have a business model that's based on not having our own ground but on producing players for England and that has a value. It's important that isn't forgotten.
"Wycombe Football Club managing director Steve Hayes has bought a stake in the club and has joined our board. That investment is important to keep the club moving forward.
"But our whole ethos is based around the idea we want all of our players to go as far as they can. That includes playing for England.
"As far as I'm concerned we're an English club and the fact we provide players for England should be recognised, particularly financially.
"Without a policy like that there would be nowhere for Premiership players to advance to.
"Players need the best foundation to become an England international and I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing guys from Wasps develop into England internationals.
"That type of investment needs to be recognised."
McGeechan has been impressed by the reaction of Cipriani, Palmer, Haskell and Waters to missing out on the World Cup, but has told them to be ready in case they are called upon by Ashton.
As for the future, McGeechan believes Wasps must improve on the road after seeing his team failing to reach the Premiership play-offs last season with their disappointing away form.
"We're brilliant at home, we had a fantastic home season last term and we need to have that attitude away," he said.
"It's not that we're trying to play too much rugby, it's about having the confidence to back ourselves as a team."