Former England caps Brad Shields and Dan Robson will play for the Barbarians next month against Northampton Saints after being left out of work due to the demise of Wasps.
Shields and Robson were two of 167 WEPS workers who immediately lost their jobs on Monday when the Coventry-based party officially took office. On Thursday, Josh Bassett became the first former Wasps player to move on when he signed for Harlequins until the end of the season.
But many of his former colleagues are still chasing after new clubs, including Shields and Robson. The pair have been given a short-term lifeline from the Barbarians.
Dan Robson was one of the Wasps players who got fired after their administration
Brad Shields and Robson have been offered a short-term solution from the Barbarians
They will be part of the historic team that will face Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens on November 26. Saints hosted the match following their scheduled match with Worcester that weekend, which was canceled after the Warriors, like Wasps, went bankrupt.
Ex-Northampton and England stars Tom Wood and Luther Burrell are also lined up to play for the Barbarians alongside back row Shields and scrum half Robson.
A source close to the Barbarians said: ‘Like everyone else in the rugby world, we are both shocked and saddened by what has happened in Worcester and Wasps.
“Some players who have lost their jobs at the two clubs have already found new jobs, but there are also those who have not and remain unemployed.
Wasps’ financial problems still leave many players ‘out of work’
Josh Bassett became one of the first players to get past Wasps after signing for Harlequins
“As part of the rugby family, we want to do what we can to help these players by giving them the opportunity not only to keep fit through play, but also to represent our historic side.”
Bath and Harlequins followed Northampton’s lead in arranging matches with the Barbarians as all 11 remaining Gallagher Premiership clubs look to offset the financial losses resulting from their scheduled home games with Worcester and Wasps removed from their roster.
Northampton estimates losing matches to either side of the calendar will cost them in the region of £700,000.
Tickets to Saints’ match with the Barbarians – which takes place on the same day as England’s autumn match against South Africa in Twickenham – are selling well.
The club stopped trading after being banned from the Premiership following the announcement
Harlequins prop Joe Marler will perform for the Barbarians on November 13 against an All Blacks XV before facing them with his club on November 17.
Marler was left out of England’s fall squad on Monday.
Sale explores a deal for former Wasp Center Burger Odendaal as the high-flyers of the Gallagher Premiership battle fall calls and midfield injuries.
Like all his ex-teammates, Odendaal is looking for a new contract and Sale, who has won all five league games this season, could provide an immediate home.
Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson currently has centers Luke James and Connor Doherty on the sidelines with long-term injuries and will lose his first choice No 12 Manu Tuilagi to England for the November Tests. It means Sam Hill is currently the only fit from Sale and available downtown.
Burger Odendaal could end up at Sale Sharks as he continues to search for a new contract
Sanderson has little leeway in terms of his team spending as he has to operate within the £5million salary cap per team in the Premiership.
But England’s rugby rules allow a team to make emergency buys if injuries and international selection leave them few options in certain areas.
Such a rule allowed Bassett wing to join Harlequins.
Odendaal is a terrifying wearer and would fit in with Sale’s game plan perfectly. He would also be an addition to the ranks of South African players at the club, although he also has interest from Japan.
Toshiba Brave Lupus is the Far East side looking to Odendaal, who has also played for the Lions and Bulls in his home country.
“There are many players in the market and recruitment and retention is never ending,” said Sanderson, who revealed he has been in talks with Sale owner Simon Orange.
Sharks’ rugby director, Alex Sanderson, explores a number of options in the market
‘I speak to Simon regularly. He emphasized the point that if there was room in the cap and we needed players for injury treatment, we had to spend money.”
The English trio Jack Willis, Joe Launchbury and Alfie Barbeary are well-known former Wasps players now on the market. Willis is a member of Eddie Jones’ England fall squad.
Prop Biyo Alo will join French Side Racing 92. Another prop in South African World Cup winner Vincent Koch would like to move to Vodacom Bulls in his home country, although Sportsmail is aware that a deal is now unlikely. Wilco Louw of Harlequins is a target of Bulls.
Stade Francais is associated with Koch, who did not leave the Saracens until the summer, but his wages and desire to travel to and from the UK could be a problem.
South African Vincent Koch was excited about a move to Vodacom Bulls
Nizaam Carr and Francois Hougaard are fond of moves to France and Japan respectively, while Charlie Atkinson is on Leicester’s radar as the already crowded player market heats up.
Sale has also received some good news from in-form hooker Akker van der Merwe after he was taken off the field last Friday in the win over London Irish.
Sanderson feared Van der Merwe’s season was over, but he will be out for just four or five weeks with an ankle problem.
Bristol winger Dan Thomas has been loaned to the Welsh region of Scarlets.