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Cooper-Woolley unsurprised by Wasps’ red-hot form

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Wasps’ superb start to the new season has surprised some but not prop Jake Cooper-Woolley, who insists his side’s upward curve over recent seasons has prepared them for the big occasions.

Back-to-back victories over Leinster and defending champions Toulon in Europe have catapulted Dai Young’s side into the limelight.

And in Aviva Premiership Rugby Wasps currently sit fifth in the table but have won three of their last four in the league to put them within touching distance of the top four.

And the 26-year-old Cooper-Woolley – who has started four games in the league so far this season – is adamant that Wasps are ready for the big time.

“It’s been a gradual progression over the last few years, both in terms of performances and our league position,” he said.

“Then there have been a new few additions to the squad this year who have brought in some experience and that has pushed us on a little bit further and made us a bit more consistent.

“I think, even last year, we had some great results – we beat Bath and Saints at home, we had some big results at the Ricoh, but it is our consistency that is improving.

“Our away form is a massive focus, we want to take our home form on the road and back up good performances.

“The win at the RDS might be a step in the right direction, it certainly installed a sense of belief.

“Those boys at Leinster pride themselves on their home form and their performances in Europe so to get those results gives us a lot of confidence – and to back up those two European wins at Twickenham is a good sign.

“We knew they were going to be massive games, you cannot expect to beat sides of that quality by as many points as we did.

“But we focus on our own game , we know if we get our detail right, we have massive self belief that we can beat any team.”

Cooper-Woolley’s impressive form in the front row has begun to turn heads alongside the flyers in the back line like Elliot Daly and Charles Piutau.

Hard work in the tight and in the loose shows a developing all-round game but the former Cardiff man is keeping his feet very much on the ground. 

“Obviously sometimes it does not go as well as others, the set piece is something you need to keep working on, to keep challenging yourself and never think you know it all,” he added.

“Some weeks you are going to struggle, and other weeks you might struggle a bit less and maybe go forward.

“Then in the loose – it’s nice to get your hands on the ball but a lot of our policy is ‘let Nathan (Hughes) have it!’
“Guys like him and Haskell do a lot of the work but everyone at the club can carry, we all like to play and Wasps have been great at getting everyone touches of the ball.

“I definitely feel like I understand things a bit better now, now I find it easier to rectify mistakes and to keep my position, I am enjoying the game at this level.

“I cannot really think about England too much, in the tight five there are so many good players, the competition is too good to waste time thinking about it – I just have to concentrate on what I can do. Playing well for Wasps is what I am paid to do, that’s my job and that’s all I can control.” 

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem

 

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