Brendan Macken signs deal to move to Wasps

Centre ends five years with Leinster to join English club

 Brendan Macken, seen here in action for  Gloucester against Bath’s George Ford, will join Wasps next season. Photo:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Brendan Macken, seen here in action for Gloucester against Bath’s George Ford, will join Wasps next season. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

 

Brendan Macken will follow Jimmy Gopperth from Leinster to Wasps after signing a deal to play with the English club for next season.

The 24-year-old centre got a taste of life in the English Premiership on a loan deal with Gloucester after Christmas and will now move to England on a permanent basis after five years at Leinster.

The former Blackrock College player played 46 times and scored six tries for since his debut in April 2010 and also played for the Ireland under-20 side.

“I am incredibly grateful for my time with Leinster Rugby, who I have been proud to represent since leaving school,” said Macken. “I would like to thank everyone involved with Leinster – coaches, players, backroom team and of course the supporters – for everything they have done for me over the years. It has been an incredible part of my life for five years.

Macken, who started five times for Leinster this season in the Guinness Pro12, admitted that his stint at Gloucester has whet his appetite for Premiership rugby.

“I really enjoyed my experience with Gloucester this season and the couple of months playing for them in the Premiership and thank them for the opportunity as well.

“I’m delighted to sign for Wasps. They’re a massive club in England and their reputation is getting better and better on an off the pitch, and I just hope I can contribute in some way.

“I hope to get as much experience as I can and will try to maximise any opportunities I have. Wasps have some really talented players, particularly in the centres. I’ve played against Elliot Daly in the past and was really impressed with Alapati Leiua against Leinster at the RDS this season. There are really talented guys behind them as well. I’m looking forward to being part of the Wasps’ set-up, working hard and contributing as best I can to help the team continue to improve.”

Meanwhile, former Munster centre James Downey will remain with Wasps next season after signing from Glasgow Warriors in February as injury cover.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be kept on at Wasps,” said Downey. “It’s a really exciting time for the club and I’m really looking forward to playing at the Ricoh next year in front of the Wasps fans again. It has been a great year for the team and the building blocks are in place for us to really kick on next year.

“I have really enjoyed playing in what is a very exciting backline and, with a few new faces next season, I can’t wait to be involved. It will be a very strong group and that’s what you want to be a part of. I’m really looking forward to it and things are only going to get better. Things are moving up at a fast pace and you want to be part of that.”

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