WASPS have signed an international fly half this week, ending all speculation that Danny Cipriani might return to Adams Park from Sale this summer.
The black and golds have instead gone for Scotland’s Ruaridh Jackson, who joins from Glasgow Warriors.
The 26-year-old has played 23 times for his country and Wasps expect his arrival to turn up the heat on Andy Goode, who they think has been given an easy ride this season.
Director of rugby Dai Young said: “For me, for big periods of the season Andy Goode hasn’t been under enough pressure.
“By his own admission Joe [Carlisle] hasn’t quite given us what he wants to give us.
“He’s improved in the last month or so and put pressure on Andy, but I want every player here to feel under pressure.
“I want at least two quality players in each position. That way you’re not over playing players, you’re not under playing players and you can do the right thing by them.
“And they feel under pressure for their position. They know when they play they’ve got to play well.
“We haven’t got that in every position. We’ll be closer next season, but you don’t want to invest heavily in a squad and then be down to nothing in such an important position like ten.
“Andy’s not getting any younger and at 34, 35, one injury can finish players or put them out for a long period of time.
“We need three quality players in that position so it was important we brought another player on board.”
Jackson is an attacking fly half who will bring a wealth of experience to the club.
But whether he’ll start ahead of Goode and Carlisle next season will depend solely on form.
Young said: “He has come here to prove himself. He wants to be here. He turned down a lot of big offers to be here and he wants to challenge himself in the Premiership.
“I’d like to think we’ll get more out of Joe Carlisle next season, but I’ll pick whoever is playing the best on the day.
“I don’t believe in number ones or number twos. That unfolds as the season goes on.”
The announcement draws a bold line through talk of Cipriani returning to the club where he made his name.
Young insists it was all just paper talk and never on the cards.
He said: “It’s a load of rubbish. He’s under contract. People just say things for the sake of saying them.
“If he was out of contract and looking around we could have been one of a number of teams interested because he’s played well this season.
“But he’s under contract. There’s no truth in it. There certainly hasn’t been any conversations from us and I’m not sure there has been from Danny either.”