Learn more about London Wasps
|Full name||London Wasps Holdings Ltd|
|Founded||1867 as Wasps FC|
|Location||High Wycombe, England|
|Image:Flag of England.svg|
London Wasps is an English professional rugby union team. The mens first team, which forms London Wasps, was derived from Wasps Football Club who were formed in 1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London, at the turn of professionalism in 1999. London Wasps play at Adams Park, which is located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
London Wasps are one of the most successful English rugby union sides in recent years, having won at least one of each of the major European competitions or knock-out tournaments in the past decade. The team compete in the English club competition, the Guinness Premiership and the European knock-out competition, the Heineken Cup.
Wasps Football Club was originally formed in 1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London. The club gained its name because of the fashion of the Victorian period for clubs to adopt the names of insects, birds and animals. In December 1870, Edwin Ash, Secretary of Richmond Football Club published a letter in the papers which said, "Those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play." As a reasonably well-established club, the Wasps were eligible to be founder members of the Rugby Football Union. On January 26, 1871 the meeting was scheduled to take place. However a mix-up led to them sending their representative to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day, another version of the story was that he went to a pub of the same name and after consuming a number of drinks was too drunk to make it to the correct address after he realized his mistake. Wasps were, therefore, not present at the inauguration ceremony and forfeited their right to be called foundation members.
Wasps first home was in Finchley Road, North London although subsequent years saw grounds being rented in various parts of London. In 1923 the Wasps moved to a permanent home at Sudbury, Middlesex, eventually buying the ground outright. The side had somewhat of a renaissence during the 1930s, particularly the earlier part of the decade, where they were seen as one of the better English clubs, going unbeaten in the 1930/31 English season. The 1930s also saw the emergence of Neville Compton, who captained the side between 1939 and 1947 and went on to become fixture secretary in 1959 and eventually became the club president in the early 1970s before retiring in 1988.
Wasps went on to host Welsh internationals Vivian Jenkins and Harry Bowcott, in addition to this national representation, numerous Wasps came to play for the England national side, such as Ted Woodward, Bob Stirling, Richard Sharp and Don Rutherford. In 1967, the Wasps club celebrated their centenary. Celebrations took the form of two matches that were held at the Rugby school grounds, where William Webb Ellis is thought to have originated the rugby union game. One match was played against the Barbarians F.C., the other, against another London rugby union club, Harlequin F.C..
The 1980s saw an all time high represenation of Wasps players in the England national side. In 1986, Wasps Football Club made their first final appearance at the John Player Cup knock-out competition, which originated in 1972. Wasps were defeated by Bath Rugby in a close final, were Bath emerged as winners, 25 points to 17. The following year, Wasps continued their success in the knock-out competition, and they again met Bath in the final. They were however, again defeat by Bath in a close game, Bath winning 19 points to 12. Wasp Rob Andrew captaining England against Romania in 1989.
In 1995 Wasps made it to the final of the Pilkington Cup, their first final appearance of that competition in almost eight years. They again met Bath in the final, as they did on two occasions in 1986 and 1987. They were however defeated by Bath, 36 points to 16. After the defeat by Bath at 1995's Pilkington tournament, a few years later, in 1998, the now professional, Wasps emerged as finalists of the Pilkington Cup. They were, however, soundly defeated 48 points to 18, by a star studded, Saracens. These were the days pre salary cap when the clubs could spend what they deemed appropriate on their players wages.
When rugby union became professional, the club split into two parts. The professional side became part of Loftus Road Holdings PLC (who also owned Queens Park Rangers F.C., sharing the Loftus Road stadium with the West London Association Football team).
In 1999, Wasps made the final of the Tetley's Bitter Cup (now called Powergen Cup), where they would meet the Newcastle Falcons. Wasps emerged as winners, defeating Newcastle 29 points to 19, and claiming their first title of that competition. The following year, Wasps backed up this successful Tetley's Bitter Cup win, by again making it to the final. They successfully defended their title, defeating the Northampton Saints 31 to 23.
The team was rebranded, in the summer of 1999, as London Wasps to differentiate them from Wasps FC the amateur side of the club. They adopted the current club logo after several proposed designs were deemed to be too far out of touch with the clubs history. They had been running as Wasps RFC (professional) since the 1996-1997 season using the existing Wasps FC badge.
In 2001 ex-Wigan rugby league star Shaun Edwards joined as a coach. He has largely been credited with creating Wasps' famous Blitz Defence that stops teams and is the basis for Wasps' own scoring chances.
In the 2002/03 European Challenge Cup, Wasps made their way to the final, where they met Bath, though Bath beat them in numerous finals in the 1990s, the Wasps emerged as champions, beating Bath 48 to 30 at Madejski Stadium. Wasps end of season run to glory also included timely wins that saw them deafeat Northampton Saints, in the Premiership semi final, after finishing 2nd in the league tabel. this saw them face Gloucester in the final Twickenham. Wasps superior fitness saw them waltz past the cherry and whites and win their first English title since 1997, by 39 points to 3.
Wasps finished atop of their pool in the 2003-4 Heineken Cup, where they went on to soundly defeat Gloucester at the quarterfinals and won a final birth after overcoming Munster 37 points to 32 in the semi-finals. The semi-final, held at Lansdowne Road, has gone down as one of the all time classic matches, for its incredible intensity, beating that of most international games. They met Toulouse in the final at Twickenham, where they became champions, defeating the French side, 27 points to 20, and in winning their first Heineken Cup produced another classic match. Wasps followed up the win the following week, again at Twickenham, by beating Bath to retain the title of Englands champion side, and complete an impressive double.
On 23 December, 2004 it was announced by the Rugby Football Union that the team was to be disqualified from the Powergen Cup for fielding an ineligible player, hooker Jonny Barrett, in a sixth-round game versus Bristol. Wasps went through the season well, after the cup glitch, and retained the English tile for a 2nd time, by beating Leicester Tigers in the final at Twickenham. Sean Edwards, however, was not a super happy man as Wasps conceded their first try on the 3 Premiership finals, in the dying minutes. Warren Gatland signed off at Wasps with a rare smile to continue his coaching with Waikato in New Zealand.
2006/2007 - Before the 2006/07 season began, London Wasps won the Middlesex 7's in Twickenham, beating Leicester Tigers in the final. Josh Lewsey scored 11 tries in the process.
Wasp's first home was in Finchley Road, North London although subsequent years saw grounds being rented in various parts of London.
Although the team currently play home matches at Adams Park, High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, and the ground at Sudbury has been developed for housing, the club house still stands (currently being used as a Hindu Community Centre) and is still considered by many as the club's spiritual home.
Wasps previously played their home games at Loftus Road in West London. They however made the move to High Wycombe in 2002. The crowds figure went up by 31.8% the next season. In recent years, Wasps have played their season opener at Twickenham, which draws around 35,000.
From the start of the 2003-4 season to the end of the 2005/6 season the stadium was sponsored by Causeway Technology and known as the Causeway stadium.
 Current squad
 Current England Elite Squad 2006/2007
 Other internationals
- Raphael Ibanez (France)
- Alex King (England)
- Tom Rees (England)
- Ayoola Erinle (England)
- Dan Leo (Samoa)
 Club Honours
- English Champions titles: 5
- 1989/90*, 1996/97**, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05
- RFU Tetley's Bitter Cup & Powergen Cup / Powergen Anglo Welsh Cup titles: 3
- 1998/99**, 1999/2000, 2005/06
- Heineken Cup titles: 1
- Parker Pen Challenge Cup titles: 1
- Middlesex 7s Tournament titles: 5
- 1948*, 1952*, 1985*, 1993*, 2006
- (* As Wasps FC)
- (** As Wasps RFC)
 Director of Rugby
|?||1867 - 1988?|
|Nigel Melville||1988? - 2002|
|Warren Gatland||2002 - 2005|
|Ian McGeechan||2005 - Present|
 External links
- Official site
- Official Picture Site
- Waspies fansite
- Drunken Wasps fansite
- Alex Walker's London Wasps fansite
- Data, statistics etc for Wasps (in English and in French)
|Federation:||Rugby Football Union|
|National teams:||England • England Saxons • England Sevens • British and Irish Lions|
|International Competitions:||Rugby World Cup • Six Nations Championship • Heineken Cup • European Challenge Cup • European Shield • Churchill Cup • Rugby World Cup Sevens|
|Domestic Competitions:||Guinness Premiership • EDF Energy Cup|
|Guinness Premiership teams:||Bath • Bristol • Gloucester • Harlequins • Leicester Tigers • London Irish • Newcastle Falcons • Northampton Saints • Sale Sharks • Saracens • London Wasps • Worcester Warriors|
|National Division One teams:||Bedford • Cornish Pirates • Coventry • Doncaster • Exeter Chiefs • Leeds Tykes • London Welsh • Moseley • Newbury • Nottingham • Otley • Pertemps Bees • Plymouth Albion • Rotherham • Sedgley Park • Waterloo|