Stephen Jones and Ashley Johnson join Wasps


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The Independent Online

Wasps have completed the signings of Wales fly-half Stephen Jones and South Africa number eight Ashley Johnson for next season, despite being in a perilous financial position.

The Aviva Premiership club are in grave danger of going into administration unless they can attract new investment by the end of the campaign, following the collapse of takeover talks.

Wasps chairman Mark Rigby yesterday issued an appeal for potential new backers to step forward, promising the club would make "a strong impact next season".

Jones, who has won 104 caps for his country, and Johnson will be joined in the Wasps squad by the returning England internationals Tom Palmer and James Haskell.

Wasps have also signed props Phil Swainston from Leeds and Will Taylor from the Ospreys.

London Wasps chief executive Chris Thomas said: "While everyone is aware that the club is seeking investment as a matter of urgency at the moment, in terms of player recruitment and retention, like every other club at this time, we have been working hard to continue to put our squad together for next season.

"We are very pleased to have recently secured these excellent signings whose quality will place us in a strong position for next year. But, while it is pleasing to announce further additions to the squad, of course our priority now is concluding a deal which will secure our financial future."

Jones, 34, is the sixth leading international points scorer of all time and he has made six Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions.

Johnson began his career as a hooker but a move to the back row earned him three South Africa caps in the 2011 Tri Nations.