Tuesday 23 July 2019

Wasps confirm signings of Irish centres Brendan Macken and James Downey

James Downey
James Downey
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Wasps have swooped for Leinster centre Brendan Macken and Glasgow's James Downey's as they look to reinforce their options for next season.

Former Munster player Downey will remain at the club next season, having impressed in black and gold since arriving from Glasgow Warriors in February as injury cover for Alapati Leiua, Chris Bell and Ben Jacobs.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be kept on at Wasps,” said Downey. “It’s a really exciting time for the club and I’m really looking forward to playing at the Ricoh next year in front of the Wasps fans again.

"It has been a great year for the team and the building blocks are in place for us to really kick on next year.

Leinster centre Macken has today that he too will be arriving at the Ricoh Arena.

The former Blackrock College player, who has played 46 times and scored six tries for Leinster since his debut in April 2010, will join the Coventry based club in time for pre-season.

"I am incredibly grateful for my time with Leinster Rugby, who I have been proud to represent since leaving school," he said.

"I would like to thank everyone involved with Leinster - coaches, players, backroom team and of course the supporters - for everything they have done for me over the years. It has been an incredible part of my life for five years."

Macken moved on loan to Gloucester after Christmas and got a taste for life in the Premiership and says he is now looking forward to the move to Wasps and the challenge ahead.

"I really enjoyed my experience with Gloucester this season and the couple of months playing for them in the Premiership and thank them for the opportunity as well.

"I'm delighted to sign for Wasps. They're a massive club in England and their reputation is getting better and better on an off the pitch, and I just hope I can contribute in some way.

"I hope to get as much experience as I can and will try to maximise any opportunities I have. Wasps have some really talented players, particularly in the centres. I've played against Elliot Daly in the past and was really impressed with Alapati Leiua against Leinster at the RDS this season. There are really talented guys behind them as well.

"I'm looking forward to being part of the Wasps' set-up, working hard and contributing as best I can to help the team continue to improve.”

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