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Former All Blacks star Lima Sopoaga named worst signing of English Premiership

Former All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga has been blasted by a pair of rugby writers after his first season in the English Premiership.

Sopoaga was labelled the worst signing of the season by Owen Slot and Alex Lowe in their season review for The Times, saying the 28-year-old's first year was almost ironic.

The former Highlander was signed by Wasps for a reported $1 million a season where he replaced Danny Cipriani - the England first-five who's newfound form at his new home with Gloucester saw him officially crowned the player of the championship.

"If Gloucester signing Danny Cipriani is everyone's player of the season, the worst piece of business now appears to have been done at Wasps, where they let him go. They put judgment on the line by bringing in Sopoaga instead," the pair wrote.

"To be fair, no one said at the time that this was anything other than an outstanding recruit. Maybe next season it will be, but he needs renewed confidence and a lot of work on his defence."

The duo were much kinder to other Kiwis though, praising 35-year-old former All Blacks prop John Afoa for his season. He was the only Kiwi to make The Times' Premiership team of the year.

"If anybody thought that the former All Black was heading from Gloucester to Bristol for one last pay day before retirement, he has proved them wrong. Afoa is still on top of his game.

"There are few tight-head scrummagers in the Premiership to rival him in the set piece but he was also making age-defying line breaks. Kyle Sinckler had a good year too for Harlequins but Afoa featured in 21 games for Bristol. Money well spent by the Bears."

The duo also praised the Bristol Bears, which features Kiwi coach Pat Lam and former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Steven Luatua, as the best club of the season.

Lima Sopoaga of Wasps.
Lima Sopoaga of Wasps. Source: Getty