Owain James to pursue opportunities in New Zealand

Date: 12 Mar 2020

Wasps can confirm that back Owain James will leave the Club this week to pursue opportunities in New Zealand.

James joined Wasps as a 12-year-old as part of the Academy before joining the Senior Academy in 2015/16.

After making his first-team debut in November 2016, James was nominated for the 2017/18 Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player Award but the 23-year-old has been restricted to just nine first-team appearances in the last four seasons.

Wasps Interim Head Coach Lee Blackett said: “Owain approached us with an opportunity to play in New Zealand and after sitting down with him, we’ve agreed to release him from his contract.

“We do think he’s a player with potential but at the moment we can’t guarantee him game-time with the competition we have across the back-three.

“He goes out to New Zealand with our best wishes and he’ll always be welcome back at the Club.”

James said: “I’ve been with Wasps since such a young age and it’s been a hell of a journey.

“I feel privileged to have played in the Black and Gold but for me right now I want to take on a very different challenge and see the world Down Under.

“I’m aiming to play lots of rugby at Northcote Birkenhead RFC and hopefully I’ll be able to get into the Mitre 10 Cup squad with North Harbour.

“I’ll always be a Wasp and I’ll certainly be back in the future as I have lots of friends here who are like family to me. I’d like to wish everyone at the Club the best of luck in the coming seasons.”