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Piutau ready for Twickenham return

He is the form player in Europe right now and after dismantling former European champions Leinster and Toulon in successive weeks, Charles Piutau is turning his attentions to this weekend’s London Double Header against London Irish.

The New Zealander, who has signed a seven-month deal with Wasps before heading to Ulster and the PRO12 on July 1, has been in scintillating form in recent weeks as his Coventry-based club started their European campaign with two wins out of two.

Considering his performances in the black and gold of Wasps, he was sensationally axed by New Zealand for the recent World Cup and now it seems Piutau is desperate to right those wrongs.  

The Wasps full back has played at Twickenham once before in November 2013 for the All Blacks against England and it seems the New Zealander saves his best performances for the big stage – be warned London Irish.

“It is always nice to play at Twickenham,” said Piutau, who made his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut against Gloucester a fortnight ago.

“It is a great stadium.

“Every week in the Premiership it is tough and it is cool that week in, week out you face a tough battle in this competition.

“I have played at Twickenham once before for New Zealand against England and it was an awesome experience.

“Hearing the English crowd sing ‘Swing Low’ was awesome.

“I guess in Super Rugby conferences, we all play each other twice and to start off the competitions they always have the top teams facing off against each other – that’s the only comparison I have experienced to the London Double Header.

“In terms of the large crowds and the big games, I feel like I have experienced that already and although there are some differences here, I have played enough rugby to deal with it.”

While Wasps have been hammering the likes of Leinster and Toulon in Europe – London Irish have suffered a difficult start to the new campaign, losing all four of their Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and remain pointless. 

Despite Wasps only losing once in their last five fixtures in all tournaments against Leicester in round 3 of Aviva Premiership Rugby; a small crumb of comfort will be the Coventry-based club’s record at Twickenham.

Wasps have won only one of their last four visits to Twickenham: 38-30 over Gloucester in April 2014 and have lost both fixtures against Harlequins and Leicester on the road this campaign.

However, Wasps have lost just one of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures against the Exiles: 20-23 at Adams Park in February and so they remain confident. 

Despite their recent record, Piutau is not worried about his Twickenham experience against London Irish and is determined to leave his mark.

“To be honest I didn’t really know much about Twickenham growing up, being on the other side of the world,” he added.

“It is such a small place and it wasn’t until you start playing international rugby that you start to know more about the prestigious stadiums around the world.

“But once I learned about Twickenham it was definitely one that I wanted to say I had played in.

“I’m so excited about this weekend and I can’t wait to get out there and put in a performance.”

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

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