London Wasps have added to their strength in depth with the signing of young centre Alex Cheesman.

The 22-year old, who has been studying at Oxford University, has signed a one-year contract with the club after completing his studies. Cheesman initially came through the Wasps Academy system, playing for Wasps at Under 18, Academy and A team level before he began his studies.

While at Oxford he played in three Varsity finals at Twickenham and he also continued to occasionally represent Wasps, featuring in the club’s Sevens side at last year’s JP. Morgan Asset Management 7s Series.

Cheesman is renowned for his athleticism and pace, having also played for England 7s, and he becomes the 12th senior squad signing made by London Wasps in time for the new season.

On the signing, Academy Manager Rob Smith, who coached Cheesman during his time with the Academy, said “With the Academy, only the players that reach the highest levels gain public recognition and this is hopefully only the tip of the iceberg for Alex. Only a few places are available each year for those players to go into the senior set-up, so many very talented young players need to follow other development routes.

“Alex is one of those who has gone away from our system and worked very hard, and it is of great and particular delight for all of the Academy staff when a player progresses through to the top level and in this case comes back home. This is great news and richly deserved.”

Alex Cheesman said “I’m thrilled to be returning to what I consider my rugby playing home. I first went to the Wasps Academy session when I was 15. Under the guidance of Brian Ashton it’s great that I’ve been able to be part of Oxford University’s rugby club whilst studying. My goal has always been to play Premiership rugby and to be back at Wasps doing so is an honour.”