20 October 2022

England’s Jack Willis: Don’t think I’ll ever get over what has happened at Wasps

20 October 2022

England international Jack Willis doubts he will ever get over the demise of Gallagher Premiership club Wasps.

Coventry-based Wasps are facing relegation from the Premiership after their entire playing and coaching staff were made redundant on Monday among 167 job losses.

Administrators FRP are seeking new buyers, although it is understood that one party – Terminum Capital – has withdrawn its interest.

Willis joined the Wasps academy in 2015, moving on to gain senior England recognition and win Premiership player of the season honours, but the 25-year-old – whose younger brother Tom is also at the club – is now among numerous players facing an uncertain future.

“I genuinely don’t think I’ll ever get over what happened this week at Wasps, and it is hard to put into words how sad I feel to see my boyhood club end in this way,” Willis said, on Twitter.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the fans for their unwavering support during the highs and the lows.

“I would also like to thank the staff and players who have genuinely become family to me. Letting go of that special group that will never be together again is truly devastating.

I will treasure every experience, every memory in a Wasps shirt

“It has been an absolute pleasure being alongside my best mates every single day whilst doing what I love.

“I can’t describe how much that means to me and my family, and we will always be grateful for that.

“I came to this club as a boy, and now leave with a family of my own. I will treasure every experience, every memory in a Wasps shirt. Thank you for everything.

“Most of all, I’d like to thank Wasps for making my dream of playing alongside my brother come true. From the back garden, to the Academy, to a Premiership final – it seems quite surreal looking back, and memories made that will last a lifetime.”

A successful takeover would see Wasps’ suspension from the Premiership lifted, enabling them to play again this season, but time is not on their side amid concerns that too many cancelled fixtures would distort the integrity of the league.

Wasps were hit by a winding-up order from HM Revenue and Customs for £2million in unpaid tax, while also needing to repay a £35m bond which had helped finance the club’s relocation to Coventry in 2014.

Their decorated history includes winning four Premiership titles and the European Cup twice.

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