Newcastle's Wasps stay in nest

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The Independent Online
Wasps' nest may have been stirred up by their England fly-half Rob Andrew signing up his club captain Dean Ryan, the former England No 8 for Newcastle RFC Ltd, but no-one is going to press the panic button just yet. Jeff Probyn, the former England prop, is a lone voice calling for Andrew and Ryan to be dropped immediately.

On Saturday fourth-placed Wasps entertain Leicester, who are currently second in the First Division, and there is little likelihood that heads will roll before then. Ryan said : "Jeff is well known for his strong views, but they don't necessarily represent a majority on the committee or within the club. Bringing in a new captain, No 8 and fly-half for a game against Leicester could prove disastrous."

Rob Smith, the Wasps coach, reinforced Ryan's views. "There is no rush to appoint a new captain," he said. "It's important to get the right guy, one the players will respond to. I am going to keep an open mind and talk to people, listen to what they have to say. I've already talked to a lot of players and their initial reaction has been that Dean carries on in charge."

Newcastle still have their eye on the Wales and British Lions scrum-half, Robert Jones, and last night he confirmed that he had been in talks with Andrew. "I spoke to Rob briefly a couple of weeks ago," Jones said, "but there has been no formal offer as yet. I've looked at what is actually going on up there and I've been very excited by the potential. If something did come through I'd be interested. I told Rob I wanted to get involved in the coaching set-up, although initially I would play for them."

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