Bracken: RFU should buy Wasps
Kyran Bracken wants the Rugby Football Union to buy Wasps and use the club as a breeding ground for the next generation of internationals.
Bracken's radical proposal is designed to find a way for the likes of Leicester fly-half George Ford to gain the Premiership experience he needs to fulfil his world class potential.
Ford was named man of the match in Leicester's Premiership semi-final win against Saracens, but Toby Flood will start the final at Twickenham, if he has recovered from an ankle injury.
Wasps, who are forecast to lose in excess of £2million next season, are close to reaching a takeover deal with a consortium led by former flanker Ken Moss.
But Bracken has urged RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie to take over the running of the club and use it to develop the best young players in the country, like Ford.
"I would love the England RFU to be bold and buy Wasps and use the club status as an opportunity to make sure young English players are getting a chance," Bracken said.
"Look at George Ford at Leicester - he has to outplay the England number 10. He needs to be learning his trade in the Premiership to compete against Flood and the rest of the world.
"Is he good enough? Of course he is. Does he need to work on a lot of factors like defence and goal kicking? Definitely.
"If he was Irish, Welsh, Scottish or from the southern hemisphere he would have been relocated to another team as there, the players are centrally contracted.
"In England the player's loyalty is with their employer - the clubs.
"The sub-contracting of the club player to England means England (and France) are at a major disadvantage.
"I realise there may be a conflict of interest which I believe can somehow be overcome, but think of the team they could create with young English players as the backbone.
"I am not suggesting the RFU create an England team at Wasps, but that they use that franchise to their advantage with a few overseas players that can help improve the game of some of the younger ones with a priority to give the brightest kids in England a chance to play.
"I fear that the rumoured derisory offer to Saracens for Andy Farrell is symbolic of how the RFU want to go forward.
"They are the richest rugby nation in the world without any real direction as yet.
"It's time the new CEO (Ian Ritchie) took the bull by the horns and spent those millions on creating a brighter future for these young English players who will not get a chance under the present system."
Wasps already have a core of promising young players including Christian Wade and Joe Launchbury, who have been selected for England's summer tour, and Eliot Daly.
Bracken believes his idea would also raise the standards of coaching in the national team.
"Unfortunately in the past it seems that the clubs are way ahead in terms of coaching than at England," he said.
"Under Clive Woodward's rule the reverse was the case. With England he had the best of the best coaches in every department. Coming back to club rugby was very noticeable.
"Having a franchise like Wasps the England coaches (including the Saxons) could learn so much about the game and how to win.
"England have not got long before the next World Cup to get the right players and coaches firing on all cylinders."