London Scottish can confirm that centre Ross Neal and back rower Joe Atkinson will leave the Athletic Ground and join Aviva Premiership side Wasps.
Director of Rugby spoke very highly of the rampaging centre Neal. “We are delighted that both Ross and Joe are getting a Premiership opportunity with Wasps. Ross arrived at Scottish a very good player from the London Irish academy. I feel he has moved his mindset from being an academy player to a key first team performer this season. Ross has used his size and pace to great effect, scoring some sensational tries.”
Morris continued in a similar vein to praise Atkinson. “When I arrived at Scottish I made it my number one priority to sign Joe. Having worked with Joe previously at Loughborough University I was very aware of his incredible athleticism and quiet determination. I see him as a match winner and he hasn’t disappointed this season. He has worked very hard for a sustained period of time to get a move to the Premiership and I think he will suit how Wasps play,”
Ross Neal has been one of the top performers this season for the Scots. He has made a formidable partnership with Ben Mosses in the Scottish midfield. Neal has made 25 appearances for the Scots this season, scoring eight tries.
This season was Neal’s second stint with the club after playing three games for Exiles in 2016/17 campaign when he came down on loan from London Irish.
Neal was appreciative of the opportunity Scottish had given him this year. “I have really enjoyed my time at Scottish and I’m very sad to leave, it’s a great club that has given me a fantastic opportunity this year. I’ve made some great friends and the players and coaches have massively helped me to progress my game. I’m really excited to make the move to Wasps and see where I can go with it.”
Joining Ross at Aviva Premiership high flyers Wasps next season will be Joe Atkinson. Atkinson has spent two seasons in South West London and has been a near ever present since his arrival. Joe marked his fiftieth appearance for the Scots in his final game for the side as Scottish went down 27-19 at Emerald Headingley against Yorkshire Carnegie.
Atkinson arrived at the RAG from Cornish Pirates before the start of the 2016/17 and instantly made an impression with supporters for his dynamic attack and solid defence work. During his first season, he made 25 appearances adding six tries along the way.
An athletic and lively back rower Atkinson has been one of the most consistent performers in the Greene King IPA Championship during his time at Scottish. This season he was awarded Players Player of the Season and Coaches Player of the Season, capping a fantastic year for the 26 year old.
Atkinson was thankful after two years in South West London. “I am really excited to be joining Wasps at the start of next season. I have had a fantastic two years at London Scottish and I have loved being part of such a historic club with extremely passionate supporters.”
The former Loughborough University student continued, “thanks to Dave, Millsy (Jonathan Mills), Dan (George) and Jake (Sharp) for being so supportive over the past year. I am really looking forward to signing off my career at Scottish on Saturday with a win away at Yorkshire Carnegie and receiving my 50th Cap.”
Both players have been instrumental members of this year’s squad but everyone at London Scottish would like to wish them the best of luck with their move to the Ricoh Arena. We will be tracking their progress closely and hope London Scottish have provided them with a platform for successful careers in the top flight.