The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Last season Wasps escaped relegation on the last day of the season at the expense of Newcastle Falcons after a horrific injury crisis saw international names such as Joe Worsley and Steve Thompson retire prematurely.
Wasps boss Dai Young reacted to the near-miss this summer by bringing in experienced playmaker Jones from the Scarlets, as well as persuading current England internationals James Haskell and Tom Palmer to return to the club after stints in France and New Zealand respectively.
And the new mix of youth and experience, most notably the form of Jones in pre-season training, has convinced Varndell the Wycombe-based club are in for a major upturn in fortunes ahead of the new season.
“The new signings are definitely settling in well – particularly Stephen Jones,” said Varndell, speaking at the launch of the J.P Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
“Overall the majority of them are here and looking sharp and it’s going to be great having them on board this season.
“Stephen Jones has been very impressive – he has caught my eye. Already you can see how much experience he has, his ball-handling ability is amazing and I think he could be one of the recruits of the season in the Aviva Premiership.
“Everyone knows how good he is and his international pedigree is going to be a great help for us. He is a fantastic recruit for us and is hopefully going to play a big role this year.
“His ability to get the ball out wide, his kicking game; his all-round ability as a 10 is great. There is a reason why he has won so many caps for his country.
“Hopefully this year he will become a fan’s favourite of the club and I am looking forward to playing with him.
“As a winger, to have a fly-half who can distribute the ball the way he can is going to be fantastic.”
However Varndell, who has four England caps to his name, believes Jones will have a fight on his hands for the number 10 jersey at London Wasps, with Ryan Davis and fellow Welshman Nicky Robinson providing stiff competition.
“It is going to be good to have three very good fly-halves,” said the 26-year-old.
“Nicky Robinson has already settled in really well and had a good season last year, and obviously having Ryan Davis makes it even more competitive. They are going to really push each other for a starting place.
“It is only going to bolster our squad and will hopefully give us strength in depth which was what we lacked last year.
“Stephen has already had an impact. His character around the squad is great and he has a calming influence as well; he is very laid-back
“We have got a very young squad so you need those older heads in the team that are going to calm the situation when the pressure comes on and that’s exactly what Stephen is capable of doing.
“You can already see he has that ability and class – and he will be a great addition to the team.”
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off on 13 July at Harlequins, with rounds at Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby, and the final at Bath Rugby. Visit: www.jpmorgan7s.com to find out more.