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Bell still eager to lead at Wasps

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Chris Bell may have surrendered the captaincy this summer but the Wasps centre insists leadership is not something he has any intention of giving up.

Bell took over the reins from Hugo Southwell last season, leading the Adams Park club to a seventh-place finish in Aviva Premiership Rugby and back to the top table in Europe.

That responsibility only lasted a year as director of rugby Dai Young opted to hand England flanker James Haskell the captaincy this campaign.

However, as a senior figure in the Wasps dressing room, Bell insists his job is far from over.

“Myself and James did the job last year and he helped me out a vast amount when I was captain,” he said. “He was invaluable with his leadership skills and his knowledge and experience.

“I’m just trying to do the same for James this year so I haven’t changed myself and I’ll continue to do what I do. As and when I’m needed to be captain or vice-captain, I’m more than happy to do that for the team.

“I fully support James, he’s a top man and a great leader and a brilliant player so I look to help him as much as I can.

“And when he’s not available and I’m asked to step in then I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”

Leaders are what Wasps needed last weekend, heading to France to take on Castres Olympique after opening up their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign with back-to-back defeats.

And after a bonus-point win out there, Wasps welcome the same opposition back to Adams Park this weekend – their last match at the venue before moving to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – and Bell insists nothing less than a win will do.

“We need another victory this weekend – we knew having lost our first two matches that we up against it in this competition,” he added.

“Getting the bonus-point win last weekend was key but we need to back it up this weekend – they are a great team so we need to go out, perform well, pick up the win and any extra points are a bonus, literally.

“I don’t see why we can’t still reach the quarter-finals – we’ve done one part of the two-game job so if we can pick the win up this weekend then it’s going to be straight shoot out for the last two games.

“It’s going to be a very tight pool and while Harlequins have had three straight wins, they have Leinster this week so it will be interesting to see what happens.”

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