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Jake Cooper-Woolley: Wasps playing with real confidence

Jake Cooper-Woolley insists confidence is at an all-time high at Wasps after winning back-to-back games away from home against last season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists.

Wasps defeated Bath Rugby 24-18 at the Rec last weekend thanks to two tries from Frank Halai, and the week before they thrashed last year’s champions Saracens 64-23 at Allianz Park in an incredible eight-try display.

The Coventry outfit have now won five on the bounce in Aviva Premiership Rugby, but the 26-year-old tighthead prop was quick to point out that narrow wins like the Bath encounter are equally as important as the Saracens performance.

“Winning those two games away from home has reaffirmed our quality,” Cooper-Woolley said.

“I don’t know what has changed in our heads, but we have shaken off a bit of doubt. Now we have total belief in our game plan and our confidence is through the roof.

“We’ve had some really good games recently and our winning run proves that.

“We have got the ability and our coaches have shown a huge amount of belief in us, but it is up to us to go out there and show how we can play.

“I think it’s massive that we can grind out wins like we did at the weekend against Bath, it shows that we can win even if we aren’t at our best.

“When we beat Newcastle 9-8 at the Ricoh two weeks ago we didn’t necessarily deserve to win but we managed to get over the line.”

Wasps have soared up the table from ninth to third on their back of their five-game winning run, and are ahead of this weekend’s opponents Harlequins on points difference.

Despite his side’s terrific form, Cooper-Woolley says his team are refusing to get ahead of themselves and that a spot in the European Champions Cup next season is the primary target.

“We aren’t looking up at first place. If you put a couple of good wins together you can quickly move up the league table and we’ve done that,” he said.

“The top six is definitely the main aim because this club deserves to be in the top tier of European competition.

“At the moment it’s about trying to create a bit of distance between us and the other teams competing for those positions and then we can start thinking about the top four.

“Playing in Europe at the top level regularly is where this club wants to be.”

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