Wasps back-row Guy Thompson is calling on his teammates to show their mettle in this week’s Aviva Premiership Rugby encounter with Northampton Saints.
Dai Young’s men exited the European Champions Cup last time out, with Leinster taking advantage of a slow start to win 32-17 in Dublin.
It doesn’t get any easier this week for the top-of-the-table side, as they host a resurgent Northampton Saints that have clawed themselves into semi-final contention after a frustrating start to the campaign.
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) April 7, 2017
And with both sides having plenty to play for, Thompson wants to see a reaction from his colleagues as they look to secure a home semi-final in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
“Obviously everyone was really disappointed after the game in Dublin, mainly because we didn’t fire all our bullets or show what we are capable of,” he said.
“If we had gone over there, played well, and lost to a better side, then it’s easier to accept. But it’s worse knowing we didn’t play as well as we can, but you learn more from your losses than your wins and we’ve tried to use that result as motivation going into the rest of the season.
“We’re firing on all fronts in Aviva Premiership Rugby now. The players were really hurt, but there’s no better thing for that than to get straight back into training and put right the things that went wrong.
“Northampton will be a huge one for us this week. We’re excited to be back at the Ricoh and it’s a great opportunity to kick on again, but they will be really physical competition.
“Any time you play a team that’s close to you, it feels like a derby. We know Northampton can fire shots from anywhere and it’s going to be a really tough day at the office.
“They’re always there or thereabouts at this time of year, and they won’t want to give up on the top four easily.”
At half-time of Sunday’s game, Wasps are set to sign a Covenant to officially pledge their support for the British Armed Forces.
The pledge will see the Armed Forces holding one military match day per season at the Ricoh Arena – starting this Sunday which will include fundraising and a buy one, get one free ticket offer for members of the Armed Forces.
In return the Armed Forces will provide Wasps’ players with opportunities to go on leadership and training courses and assist with some of the club’s wide-ranging community programmes.
And Thompson, himself from a military background, is thrilled to see the agreement taking shape.
He said: “Personally, I think it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to sign this Covenant with the Armed Forces, and are making sure that we show our gratitude and respect to them as a sports club.
“These young men and women in the armed forces go off to foreign countries and put their lives on the line, just so we can live our lives here as normally as possible.
— Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ) April 7, 2017
“It’s outstanding that we are able to contribute what we can for them. At the games they will get heavily discounted tickets for friends and family and I hope to see lots of them at the Ricoh.
“Being from Hereford, a lot of friends and family joined the military. My dad was in the army for a number of years as well, so it’s something that I am immensely proud to be a part of.
“I was very close to going down that route myself. I looked at going to Sandhurst but I wanted to give rugby one last shot, and that seems to have worked out for me!”
Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.