Wasps prop Tim Payne impressed with rising stars at Adams Park
Experienced campaigner Tim Payne has praised Wasps' rising stars for playing key roles in the club's recent revival.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 07/02/13 6:28am
Former England prop Payne is in his 10th season at the club, having previously played for Coventry, Bristol and the Cardiff Blues. And during that time, the 33-year-old has tasted plenty of success - with three Premiership titles, two Heineken Cup crowns and one Anglo-Welsh Cup.
However it has been a barren few years for Adams Park club, though, with their last silverware coming in 2008.
And having once been the kings of Europe, Wasps found themselves in serious danger of relegation as injuries ravaged their squad while off-the-field financial turmoil left them on the brink.
The club, though, have bounced back in fine fashion - with Wasps now in the top four of the Premiership standings and in the quarter-final of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Exciting talents Joe Launchbury, Billy Vunipola, Christian Wade and Elliot Daly were among the players to emerged during the struggles - and Payne has been impressed with the next generation.
"The young lads have done superbly," Payne told Sky Sports.
"Having come through almost getting relegated has made them stronger.
"The injuries meant they were playing week in, week out so they are now seasoned Premiership performers and know what it is all about now."
Payne has made 260 appearances for Wasps, having first pulled on the famous black jersey against Stade Francais in 2003.
And he is determined to keep adding to that tally despite a crop of talented young front-rowers currently at the club.
Phil Swainston, who moved to Wasps from Leeds in 2012, has gone on to ean international honours with the Saxons, while Will Taylor and Simon McIntyre have made good progress.
"Phil Swainston has done brilliantly, Will Taylor has as well, then there is Simon McIntyre... so it is good for the club," added Payne, who won 22 caps for England.
"Personally I am happy to help them as I want the club to get back where it once. However I still want to play as well so the competition is good."
Tim Payne was speaking at a QBE Rugby Pro event with Crowborough RFC on behalf of QBE, Official Business Insurance Partner of Premiership Rugby. For more information, please visit www.QBErugby.com