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Wasps hoping to fill rugby 'void' in area

Rugby Union club Wasps say they hope they can fill a 'void' in the area in terms of big rugby clubs.

Captain James Haskell highlighted Leicester and Northampton nearby who sell out their grounds regularly, and hopes Wasps can do the same in Coventry.

The club is expecting 27,000 fans to turn out at their first game at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

Wasps hoping for record turnout in first game at Ricoh

Wasps in training at the Ricoh Arena earlier this week Credit: ITV News Central

Wasps are hoping to break the attendance record for a regular Premiership Rugby fixture as they prepare to play their first home game at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

More than 27,000 people are expected for Sunday's game against London Irish.

School children see Wasps train at Ricoh for first time

Wasps in action at the Ricoh Credit: ITV News Central/Ewhen Kurlak

Wasps have been training at the Ricoh Arena for the first time, and they were watched by local school children.

Crowds gathered to see the now Coventry-based club train Credit: ITV News Central/Ewhen Kurlak

The club moved from Wycombe's Adam's Park to Coventry, after they signed a deal to become full shareholders of the stadium last month.

The club have been working with schools in the area to encourage children to get involved in rugby.

The club became full shareholders of the Ricoh last month Credit: ITV News Central/Ewhen Kurlak


Wasps to replace much-criticised pitch at the Ricoh Arena ahead of Coventry City's next home match

Coventry City's pitch has been criticised by the club's manager Credit: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

Wasps have announced plans to lay a temporary new pitch at the Ricoh Arena ahead of Coventry City's next home game.

The pitch has been much-criticised by a number of visiting teams and even by the Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley.

It's difficult to play in the manner that I want my team to play in on that pitch. The standard of the pitch is so poor.

In fact, at this moment in time, the Ricoh Arena pitch is probably the worst in the entire Football League.

– Steven Pressley, Coventry City manager (speaking in November)
Steven Pressley has called the pitch the worst in the Football League Credit: Jon Buckle/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Wasps will play their first match on 21 December at the Ricoh Arena Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Wasps say they will fully relay the pitch over the summer in order to be ready for the 2015/16 season.

The club's subsidiary ACL (Arena Coventry Ltd), which owns 50% of the stadium, will fund the temporary replacement.

The surface is expected to be ready in time for Coventry's next home game against Fleetwood Town on 20 December.

We are not willing to compromise on the quality of the playing surface and recognise that this issue needs to be addressed now, so we have provided the best temporary solution available to us.

– Nick Eastwood, Wasps Chief Executive

Wasps' match will be on 21 December against London Irish following their purchase of 50% of the stadium.

Wasps' Andy Goode reassures Coventry fans after move

The former Worcester Rugby and Leicester Tigers star - and Coventry City fan - Andy Goode has been quick to reassure Sky Blues fans after Wasps bought the Ricoh Arena.

He says the decision by his current side Wasps to move to the stadium will not negatively impact on the football club he has always supported.

Pressley: Ricoh sale does not concern me

The Coventry City manager, Steven Pressley, says he is not concerned by the news that London Rugby club Wasps will be moving into the Ricoh Arena in December.

The Sky Blues have only recently returned to the stadium after a spell playing in Northampton, and as it stands the idea is for Coventry to share the facility with the rugby club.

New joint owners want Coventry City FC to remain at Ricoh

The new joint owners of the Ricoh Arena have revealed they want Coventry City FC to continue playing at the stadium.

Wasps have acquired 50% interest in shares in Arena Coventry Limited from Coventry City Council.

Coventry City take on Yeovil Town at the Ricoh Arena last month Credit: PA

There has also been much speculation in media outlets and social media recently about how this move will affect the future of Coventry City Football Club and Coventry RFC. We are delighted to see Coventry City Football Club back at the Ricoh Arena and this is where we want them to remain. We are keen to make this work for everyone. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the Sky Blues. We are very keen to build a close relationship with Coventry Rugby Club and are exploring running community and player development programmes together.

– Wasps club statement
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