Wasps lock Bradley Davies is hoping his side can make their new home a fortress when they begin life at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.
Wasps welcome London Irish for their first home match since their move from High Wycombe, and are likely to surpass the highest home ground attendance for this season in Aviva Premiership Rugby of 22,639 set by Leicester Tigers.
The club announced last week that just under 23,000 tickets have already been sold, and Davies admitted impressing the side’s new fans as well as rewarding the old ones for their loyalty is high on the priority list.
“It’s obviously an exciting time for Wasps as a club moving forward,” said the 27-year-old. “We now own an amazing stadium and ticket sales are going really well for the first game so it’s all looking up.
“As a professional rugby player you like to play in a big stadium with a lot of fans watching so it’s going to be an amazing game.
“There is a great initiative by Guinness to put on free buses for the fans to come up, which is awesome. Fans are a massive part of this club – the heart and soul of it – so anything we can do for them is good.
“Hopefully they can all come up and watch us play every week and get us going in our new home.
“You’ve got to win your home games and our home record is something we’re proud of at the moment so we want to continue the work we’ve done at Adams Park moving onto the Ricoh.
“We’re not too proud of our away record at the moment, and picking up some more wins on the road would be good.
“But we want to first try and make the Ricoh a bit of a fortress for ourselves and start that against London Irish.
"London Irish are very underrated; they are a good team and the Premiership is massive so every game is a tough one. It’s a big game and a good chance for us to get back up the league.”
Wasps have slipped to seventh in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after consecutive defeats on the road at Exeter Chiefs and Leicester.
But Davies was away from the squad on international duty with Wales, returning to the side after missing their summer tour to South Africa with a torn hamstring.
And while he was not involved in the sensational victory over the Springboks, he notched up his 44th international cap against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium.
He added: “For any Welshman to play for your country is a massive achievement. Any time it comes your way, you have to grab it with both hands.
“To get back a bit early, ahead of schedule and to make the squad was good enough. You don’t really deserve to be there unless you’re playing rugby and I was lucky to have a couple of games.
“It was a bonus and then getting on the field for those two games was special.”
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