Andy Goode: I’m here to help make Wasps great again

Andy GoodeFly-half Andy Goode is out to prove there is life in the old dog yet by marshalling Wasps young guns into the Heineken Cup.
When Worcester made the surprising decision to release Goode last season, there was no shortage of suitors for the 33-year-old’s services.
But it was the prospect of supplying ammunition to the Premiership’s foremost finishers – Christian Wade and Tom Varndell – that most appealed to the former England fly-half.
Goode told The Rugby Paper: “Quite a few clubs were interested, but they were the ones I found most interesting.
“With a lot of the others, they wanted me to play alongside other established players, but I wanted to play week in, week out until I am not good enough to play anymore.
“Wasps have a lot of young talent and Dai wanted someone with experience to put the team in the right areas.
“Wasps are probably the most devastating team in terms of counter-attacking. They have got that X-factor and my job is to help them be as much of a threat as possible as an attacking unit in first-phase possession.
“It says something about their finishers that they had the two top tryscorers in a side that finished eighth.
“At Leicester I had Tom Varndell and Alesana Tuilagi, but in terms of finishers then I can’t think of a better combination that I have played with.
“I will need to get the ball wide as quickly as possible. That is a side of the game I enjoy but I have not always had the chance to do it.
“You can’t just chuck it about and say to the wingers ‘score tries’. You have to pick the right time to go out.”
It is Goode’s experience that Wasps sorely lacked when they plummeted from fourth at the turn of the year to eighth by the end of the season.
But Goode says Heineken Cup qualification should be the minimum expectation at Adams Park.
He said: “When I spoke to Dai Young, he told me about Stephen Jones retiring to become backs coach.
“He spoke about the amount of young talent Wasps have with guys like Joe Launchbury and Christian Wade.
“Across the board they have some brilliant players, who may just need a little direction.
“In the last 12 months Wasps have made massive strides. They are a big London club and the new owner wants to move to a new training ground and, potentially, a new ground.
“When I was at Leicester, they were our main rivals and they have the players to be in the top six.
“I have signed a two-year contract and I want to help the club get into the Heineken Cup. I have played 49 matches in the Heineken Cup and I want to get to 50.”
Goode’s decision to change clubs for a seventh time was not his own after Worcester head coach Richard Hill opted not to renew his contract.
Hill soon followed Goode out of Sixways after the Warriors finished 11th with Dean Ryan coming in – a move the former England fly-half welcomed.
He added: “I was there for three years with Richard Hill in charge and he made the decision not to offer me a contract.
“It was a coach’s decision and he ended up being sacked. (Owner) Cecil Duckworth was a great supporter of the club and I believe he wanted me to stay, but it was not his decision. They were happy for me to speak to other clubs. If I had known a new coach was coming in I would have been happy to stay, but hindsight is a great thing.
“Richard did things the way he wanted to do them. He was originally given a two-year contract with the task of getting Worcester into the Premiership.
“Then the club wanted to move forward and be in the Heineken Cup.
“He was successful in the first part of his remit, but they made the decision Richard was not the man to help them  fulfil the next part of their ambitions.
“Dean Ryan is a very forward thinking guy and you can see by his punditry how knowledgeable he is about the game. I am sure Cecil wishes he had appointed him three years ago.”
DANIEL SCHOFIELD

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