Walder pushing past Cipriani in the pecking order

Wasps season looks like it is being salvaged by a former England player who is a fly half but it’s not Danny Cipriani it’s Dave Walder.

Dave Walder scored all 19 of Wasps’ points in their victory over Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup two weekends ago.

But after guiding the Guinness Premiership champions to three consecutive victories, which halted one of their worst starts to a season in the professional era, Walder, 30, was strangely dropped for Cipriani, 21.

It was another mystery why Wasps took until the 68th minute to bring on Walder.

Walder and Joe Simpson, who came on two minutes later at scrum half, added the missing spark to the forwards’ industry to carve open a tiring Saracens defence with three tries in seven minutes to turn the game on its head.

“I think I understand it,” Walder told the Times.

“There are some people at clubs who are always going to start if they’re fit and I had that at Newcastle with Jonny [Wilkinson] and obviously Danny down here is an amazing player and has all the talent in the world.

“So I probably deep down expected it. I was disappointed, but that just drives you on.”

Last season Walder looked like he was going to be destined forever to be blocked by England fly halves who were higher up in the club pecking order after he had swapped Wilkinson’s Newcastle Falcons for Wasps in the summer of 2006, just as Cipriani was coming of age.

“I knew when I signed for Wasps they had Alex King, a club legend, and Danny coming through, so I knew what I was letting myself in for,” Walder said.

“I think I can bring a different side of fly-half play to Wasps than Danny can bring. Hopefully they can take the best from both of us.”

Walder is hoping to start the Boxing Day trip to Sale Sharks. “I’d love that,” he said.



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