Billy Searle soaks up knowledge during his early Wasps journey
Date: 24 Jul 2018
A month into pre-season training, new signing Billy Searle is settling into his new environment.
And the former Bristol Bears fly half says he has already experienced one highlight through training alongside Jimmy Gopperth.
Wasps’ No.10 is one of very few players who have tasted life in the Gallagher Premiership, Guinness Pro 14 and Super Rugby – and 22-year-old Searle is determined to soak up as much of the Kiwi’s know-how as possible.
"It was a bit surreal when I first came in to train with him and be around him,” he said.
“The way he talks and the way he handles himself, you see why he's been around the top of the game for so long.
“I'll pick his brains as much as I can. On a personal level, we’re getting on really well to start with so I am going to try to learn as much as I can from him."
With Gopperth and fellow New Zealander Lima Sopoaga also in the Wasps squad, Searle is aware David Young has plenty of depth at his disposal in the No.10 shirt.
"It's a learning curve for me, you've got to be patient at a club like this,” he said.
“You've got some quality players come in like Lima Sopoaga, then you've got Jimmy and players who can play at 12 as well.
“It's only going to make me a better player to learn off them, and if we all learn off each other and take bits from each others’ games it's only going to be a good thing."
Searle has also really enjoyed his first taste of training under backs coach Lee Blackett and working with the likes of Rob Miller, Joe Simpson, Christian Wade, Josh Bassett and Juan De Jongh.
"The way Wasps play was a factor in my decision to come here,” he said.
“They like to throw the ball around with good moves in the backline and playing with those kind of players is a really exciting prospect.
"I like to attack the line myself and have a go, but as a fly half I also need to have a lot of control and manage the field as well.
"But while I understand you've got to have that balance in your game as a No.10, with the players we've got here I've got to get the ball into space and let them work their magic.”
Despite being only 20 at the time, Searle saw plenty of Premiership and European action during Bristol’s ill-fated 2016/17 campaign, which he believes will serve him well at his new home.
"I went to Bristol that season as an academy boy after winning the county championship with Cornwall while I was playing for Plymouth,” he said.
“Once I got a chance I kept my place and ended up playing 15 Premiership games. Hopefully I can use that experience if I get the chance and it will hold me in good stead moving forward.”