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Goode offered Wasps coaching role

Wasps have offered fly-half Andy Goode a coaching role with the club next season after signing New Zealander Jimmy Gopperth from Leinster.

Wasps rugby director Dai Young says that 34-year-old Goode is currently "keeping his options open".

Gopperth, three years Goode's junior, joined Leinster in 2013 after four years with Wasps' fellow Aviva Premiership club Newcastle.

During his time at Newcastle, Gopperth was the Premiership's top points scorer on two separate occasions. Before moving to Europe, he had Super Rugby stints in New Zealand with the Blues and Hurricanes.

Former Leicester, Saracens and Worcester number 10 Goode, who has amassed more than 2,000 Premiership points during his playing career and also won 17 England caps, will be out of contract at the end of this season.

"We would love to keep him (Goode) involved with Wasps and have offered him a coaching role at the club," Young said.

"Goodey's ability to analyse the game is first-rate, and when you see him around the club it's easy to appreciate how much he is respected by the players and the coaches.

"He has won everything there is to win in club rugby, and he offers so much off the field, as well as on field, to the younger players here.

"Andy has already shown his coaching potential alongside our A team coaches, and we would like him to join the senior team.

"At the moment he is keeping his options open and considering a variety of offers elsewhere, which we fully understand."

Regarding Gopperth's arrival for next term, Young added: "Jimmy's consistency of performance at the highest level is really impressive.

"He is one of the most accurate kickers in northern hemisphere rugby, and we also expect him to develop a dangerous attacking partnership in our back line over the next couple of seasons."

Young, meanwhile, confirmed that Wasps are "very close" to announcing a new signing on the wing.

It follows confirmation that former England wing Tom Varndell will join Championship title favourites Bristol next season, while Varndell's fellow back Will Helu is also leaving Wasps.

"Tom Varndell has been fantastic for us since joining from Leicester Tigers in 2009, and he and Christian Wade have established a prolific partnership on the wing," Young said.

"Tom will be tough to replace, but we understand it is a fantastic opportunity for him at Bristol and we wish him the best.

"Tom is a fans' favourite here, and I have no doubt that he will do everything in his power to produce his best in black and gold for the rest of the season.

"Will also made a big impact during his first season with Wasps last season, but his game-time has unfortunately been limited this season due to injury.

"We are very close to being able to announce a new signing on the wing which I believe will excite Wasps and Aviva Premiership rugby fans."

Varndell's signature represents a major coup for Bristol, who are tipped by many to win the Championship this season and secure a Premiership return.

Varndell, 29, has scored 81 Premiership tries in spells with Wasps and Leicester, second only on the all-time list to Sale Sharks wing Mark Cueto. Varndell won four caps for England between 2005 and 2008.

"I am an ambitious person and I believe that Bristol Rugby - with the resources and vision that the club has - matches my ambition," he said.

"I have had a fantastic time at Wasps and I thank the coaches, my team-mates and the supporters for making me so welcome for the past six years. We've still got a lot of exciting challenges ahead this season."

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