Former Bok returns to Wasps
NEWS: Fan favourites Ashley Johnson has returned to Wasps as their new Senior Academy Forwards Transition Coach following Richard Beck’s decision to step down from his role due to personal reasons.
The former Springboks forward who played both at hooker and in the back row joins Wasps from National League 1 side Birmingham Moseley Rugby.
Johnson “won the hearts of the Wasps faithful” during an eight-year spell at the club between 2012 and 2020. He won nearly 200 caps for Wasps in his time at the club, having previously earned three Springboks caps between 2009 to 2012.
“To have one of the best signings in our history back at the Club is great news,” said head coach Lee Blackett. “During his time as a player, he was a key member of the squad and his energy around the training ground was infectious.
“He understands what it means to be a Wasp, which is a huge advantage for an Academy Coach who is developing players to join the senior squad.
“His work at Birmingham Moseley has been impressive and we are delighted to have him back with us.”
Johnson for his part is delighted to re-join the club: “I am delighted to be joining Wasps Academy and look forward to developing the next generation of Wasps Players.
“I want to thank Birmingham Moseley for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a coach in the last couple of years. Adam Balding and Pete Glacken have been instrumental in mentoring me and I want to wish them and the Club all the best for the new season.
“I am excited be a part of Wasps again, it almost feels like all those years back when I first joined the Club.”
It’s a rare bit of good news for Wasps, who are facing financial difficulties off the field. The club are attempting to service and ultimately repay £35 million in debt to bondholders, a debt that was originally meant to be repaid in May.