Lima Sopoaga's English club are confident the former All Black will find his best form - next season.

Sopoaga's struggles have cast the spotlight on New Zealand players battling to live up to reputation in Europe.

But Wasps director of rugby Dai Young says the $1m a year Sopoaga is simply going through a predictable transition.

Young said injuries to top players such as livewire Springboks fullback Willie le Roux had made Sopoaga's task much more difficult.


"We always knew Lima would take a bit of time to settle in and you have to feel a bit sorry for him because he's been trying to settle with half the team he expected to be around him being unavailable," Young told the Rugby Paper.

"That's put more pressure on Lima but we know he's a quality player and we also know that, like most players from the southern hemisphere, you're probably not going to get the best out of them in their first season in England.

"He's shown glimpses and with some of those more experienced, recognised players around him, he's going to grow. They'll take the pressure off and hopefully he'll go from strength-to-strength, which we're confident he will."

Sopoaga, who has a three year contract, was yellow carded for a no arms tackle in his latest match against Bath.

The Rugby Paper also believes Sopoaga has been affected by speculation about Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes' future at Wasps.