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Matt Mullan says Wasps head to Toulon with no fear

Matt Mullan says Wasps head to Toulon with no fear

After four rounds of the European Rugby Champions Cup Wasps are in pole position to qualify out of Pool 5 but Matt Mullan has warned his teammates that they must not waste their strong start.

Two handsome victories over Leinster and Toulon to open up their European campaign served notice of their potential at Europe’s top table this season.

And after splitting their double header with Bath Rugby they top the table on 14 points ahead of their trip to take on defending three-time European champions Toulon in the reverse fixture.

Last year Wasps’ European adventure was ended at the Stade Felix Mayol at the quarter-final stage but time around Dai Young’s side are brimming with confidence.

And Mullan – who co-captains the Aviva Premiership Rugby side with James Haskell – is desperate for his side to set the record straight in the south of France.

“We have worked so hard – both to get into this competition because making the top six is tough and then to be in a good position after the first four rounds.

“We want to acquit ourselves well, to be playing at the top table. These first four rounds we have done so well, it would be horrible to let it slip now.

“Toulon is an incredibly tough place to go but last year’s quarter-final will help – we are more familiar with it now.

“I think in that quarter-final we treated them with too much respect, definitely in the first half.

“Now we are a year older and wiser, then we have guys like Goerge Smith who has played for them and in France a lot and Jimmy Gopperth who played them with Leinster.

“Add in our performance at home against them and we know that we can beat anybody so it is about backing up these results and performances.”

The 28-year-old Mullan was boosted by the news this week that he has been called up by Eddie Jones for England’s Six Nations squad.

There he will compete with Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler to add to his five England caps and the loosehead admits he is relishing the clean slate that a new head coach brings. 

“I am thrilled and over the moon to be named, it shows that I have been doing something right and it is good to be noticed,” he added. 

“But the hard work starts now really, I have two huge European games now to show more of what I can do and I have to take it one step at a time.

“The squad that Eddie has picked, there have been some surprises but he has been true to his word and picked people that fit what he wants in his system and team.

“For me it is a great chance to push my case forward and hopefully get back into the matchday squads.”
 

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