Lima Sopoaga signing labelled 'clumsy mistake' by top UK pundit

Former All Black Lima Sopoaga's signing with English side Wasps has again come under scrutiny, losing his place as the Premiership outfit's starting first-five to 21-year-old Jacob Umaga.

Sopoaga, 28, left New Zealand in 2017, signing a two-year deal with Wasps for a reported $1.1m per season.

However, Sopoaga's arrival in England has not gone to plan, rated as the Premierships "worst signing" after his first season.

Now into his second year with Wasps, Sopoaga's woes have continued, left out of their match day 23 altogether as his side fell 35-31 to Northampton.

Rookie and former England youth representative, not to mention nephew of All Black Tana, Jacob Umaga took the number 10 jersey, while 36-year-old Jimmy Gopperth was in reserve.

Writing for the Times, UK pundit Stuart Barnes didn't hold back in his assessment of Sopoaga's time with Wasps to date.

"The signing of Lima Sopoaga was a clumsy mistake on the part of Dai Young, the [Wasps] director of rugby," Barnes says.

"A burly South Islander with a few All Black caps and an entirely different way of playing to Cipriani was never going to ease seamlessly into the No 10 shirt.

"Wasps were never going to reproduce the beautiful balance of their all-out offence."

Wasps have won just two matches from their first eight in this season's Premiership, sitting ninth on the table with one bookmaker paying 4/1 as third favourite to finish last and be relegated from the division.