Wasps have announced that forward duo Will Rowlands (lock) and Jack Willis (back-row) have signed contract extensions with the Premiership club.
26-year-old Rowlands has enjoyed an excellent season, producing a number of eye-catching appearances in both the Premiership and European Champions Cup.
During this spell, his mobility, agility and high work-rate have seen Rowlands rack up some impressive tackle counts and carrying stats in addition to being a reliable lineout operator.
Rowlands was a member of Wasps’ academy while simultaneously studying at Oxford University where he won blues in 2012 and 2013.
He made his senior debut against Leicester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2012, since when he has gone on to make 40 appearances in black-and-gold, 12 of which have come this term.
Wasps rugby director Dai Young is happy that Rowlands has extended his stay with the Coventry-based outfit.
“Will has really come on during the last two or three seasons, and is a valuable member of our squad," he said.
“During that time he has proved himself to be more than capable of holding his own in some big games against experienced opponents.
“Our second rows all have a role model in Joe Launchbury, and as a group they form a formidable unit.
“Will is still improving as a player, and we are really pleased that he will be part of our journey during the coming years.”
Rowlands said: “I’m really excited to have re-signed for Wasps.
“This is the only club I’ve played at professionally and while I’ve improved a lot in my time here, I’m sure plenty of scope exists for further development. With the players and coaches that are here, it’s a fantastic environment to do that in.
“I’m now looking forward to getting myself back playing and being part of a squad which hopefully can have a strong finish to the season.”
Former England U20 representative Willis extends his stay at the club he originally joined ahead of the 2015/16 season.
The 21-year-old made his first XV debut at Sale in November 2016 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with his Premiership bow coming later the same month also against the Sharks.
Since then Willis’s rapid development has seen him first join the senior squad, before quickly forcing his way into Dai Young’s matchday 23 on a regular basis.
As a result, 17 of his 25 appearances have been registered this season, culminating in back-to-back man-of-the-match winning displays in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Leicester and during Sunday’s Premiership win over Harlequins.
Young expressed his delight at Willis' decision to extend his stay at the club.
“We are thrilled that Jack has signed a new deal, as he has really progressed rapidly over the last 18 months," he said.
“To move as quickly as he has from being an academy player to producing stand-out displays against seasoned internationals in the Premiership and Europe speaks volumes about his talent and attitude.
“We believe he has a very bright future ahead of him, and that he will be an integral part of what we are building here at Wasps for many years to come.”
Willis said: “I’ve been fortunate to get a few opportunities this year and I’m chuffed to extend my stay at Wasps.
“If you look at the coaching staff and players here it’s clear the club is going places.
“My focus now is on getting my head down and working hard to help us achieve the best things we can this season and in the future.”
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