Sopoaga 'worst signing' of season

Lima Sopoaga on the run for Wasps this season. Photo: Getty Images
Lima Sopoaga on the run for Wasps this season. Photo: Getty Images
It has not been a great first year in the north for former Highlanders first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga.

Sopoaga (28) made the move to Wasps in the English Premiership after finishing a 92-game career with the Highlanders at the end of the 2018 season.

There was talk of Sopoaga turning the club around and making the Coventry-based side a real contender in the Premiership.

But it has gone far from smoothly for the former All Black.

So much so that The Times has labelled Sopoaga the worst signing of the season.

Sopoaga had an up-and-down season for Wasps which had high hopes at the start of the season.

The side ended up eighth in the Premiership, winning 10 of 22 matches.

It missed the playoffs although it did beat Harlequins 27-25 in its final game of the season on Sunday.

Sopoaga had a reasonable season with his goal-kicking with 81% of his attempts at goal being successfully converted. He scored 159 points off the boot.

But his general play came in for criticism and he failed to get his backline going.

In a media interview last month, Sopoaga admitted he had struggled with the style of play in England and the emphasis on physicality.

Defence dominates in England and playing on the smooth, dry surface of Forsyth Barr Stadium is a long way away from what is served up in England.

Sopoaga has also had some niggling injuries which has hampered his form.

He came to Wasps to replace English first five-eighth Danny Cipriani, who moved to Gloucester and had a fine season, winning the player of the year award.

There had been speculation Sopoaga was looking to engineer a move out of Wasps but talk of that was shut down by the club.

Sopoaga received good money to join the English club and turned his back on the chance of chasing an All Black jersey for this year's World Cup.

He holds a raft of points-scoring records for the Highlanders, including most points in a season (191) and most points in a career (892).


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