Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Being Compared with Scholes Is Fit for a King

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Being Compared with Scholes Is Fit for a King

Article excerpt

ALEX KING, the Paul Scholes of London Wasps, is so important to his club they are waiting until the last moment to name their team for Sunday's Heineken Cup Final with Leicester.

The influential fly-half has not played since injuring both his knee and hamstring in the quarter-final win over Leinster at the end of March.

Without him, Wasps failed to make the Premiership play-offs.

To give the 32-year-old every chance of appearing in the biggest game in club rugby, Wasps are waiting until the deadline later today before revealing their starting line-up.

Twenty four hours before King, hopefully, walks out in front of a capacity crowd at Twickenham, Scholes will try to help Manchester United see off Chelsea in the first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley.

King is three months younger than Scholes and, like the United midfielder, is no longer involved in international competition, allowing him to concentrate all his efforts on the club who have been his sporting home.

Like Scholes, King's presence brings a stability that can make the difference between success and failure, so it's no surprise that people have drawn comparisons between the two.

The five-time capped England international said: "I am flattered to be described as the Paul Scholes of the Wasps team

to be compared to a player that good. I know Wasps so well and feel a huge responsibility at No10.

Like Scholes in the United midfield, it's a key part of my role to deliver the goods week in, week out." King, the club's all-time top points scorer, has been at Wasps since 1996, guiding them to Heineken Cup, European Challenge Cup and Powergen Cup triumphs along with three Premiership titles. It's a rugby CV that stands alongside the best in English rugby and there could be one more campaign in those legs.

"My contract is up at the end of the season and talks are taking place, although that all goes on the back burner as we prepare for the Leicester match," said King. "I started here with Lawrence [Dallaglio] all those years ago and continuity has been such a key feature of Wasps.

"Players have joined and stayed for a decade which has helped created this fantastic team spirit and now the youngsters such as Tom Rees, James Haskell and Danny Cipriani are creating the same camaraderie. …

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