Wasps sign Joe Atkinson, Ross Neal, Michael Le Bourgeois, Ben Morris and Billy Searle

Wasps have signed five Championship players to boost their numbers ahead of the 2018-19 Aviva Premiership season.

London Scottish pair Joe Atkinson and Ross Neal, Bedford winger Michael Le Bourgeois, Nottingham back-row Ben Morris and Bristol fly-half Billy Searle are all moving to the Ricoh Arena.

Le Bourgeois was recently named RPA Championship Player of the Season and was also part of the Rugby Paper’s Championship Dream Team.

Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young said: “We have taken a lot of care in scouting these five players and are very much looking forward to working with them when pre-season gets underway.

“All five are exciting prospects who have been stand-out performers in the Championship this season.

“While these signings may not be as immediately eye-catching as Lima Sopoaga or Brad Shields, in their own way they are every bit as important for our future.

“Finding and developing talent is a big part of building a successful club. Salary cap regulations mean you must operate with a blend of players to ensure you have a robust squad able to cope with international calls, injuries and the need to provide rest.

“Over the last few years we have signed Josh Bassett, Guy Thompson, Alex Rieder and Tom Cruse from clubs outside the Premiership, and they have all gone on to be valuable members of the squad.

“We are hoping these five are the next crop of unpolished diamonds who, with some help from our coaches and support staff, go on to find similar success.”

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