Fixtures - Top Bar

Simpson expects more from Wasps despite strong start

With back-to-back wins over teams who reached Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals last season, Wasps have been one of the most impressive teams in the first two weeks of the season – but Joe Simpson has warned that there is still work to do to become an 80-minute team.

The 28-year-old, who is in his testimonial season at the club, got his first start of the campaign against Leicester Tigers, as Wasps won at Welford Road for the first time since 2008.

That followed a win over Exeter Chiefs on the opening day of the season – a form of revenge for three defeats in as many league games last term.

As a result Wasps are sitting pretty with nine points from their first two matches before this weekend’s reception of Bristol Rugby.

But as pleased as Simpson has been with the opening displays of the campaign, he believes the team has not yet fully hit its straps.

“We are pretty happy with how things have gone so far,” he said.

“But there weren’t quite as many slaps on the back in the video session at the start of the week as you might think.

“We had some really good periods against Leicester but there were times when we switched off and that could have cost us.

“It would be quite possible for us to be sitting here after two games with one point, so we’ve got to be very happy to have nine.

“But we’ve got Bristol up next and we need to try to put together a performance for 80 minutes rather than 60.

“We’ve played them earlier this year (in pre-season) so we know how hard a game it’s going to be.

“Last weekend was good for me, it was my first full 80 minutes so it was good to get out there. I was even looking forward to our conditioning session at the start of the week.”

Guy Thompson, Christian Wade, Jimmy Gopperth all crossed against the Tigers, but it was Sam Jones – scorer of the third Wasps try – who really stood out for Simpson.

And he expects the flanker to kick on this season as Wasps begin the campaign without the injured James Haskell, and look to fill the void of the departed George Smith.

“The way Sam Jones put his body on the line was incredible,” added Simpson.

“The hits he put in, he was everywhere. He doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves, although he did go away with the Saxons in the summer.

“But he’s going to be one for the future, there’s no question. He’ll be an international if he keeps playing like that.”

In his tenth season at the club, Simpson is in a testimonial year with Wasps, as he supports MacMillan Cancer, School of Hard Knocks and the Dallaglio Foundation.

These will benefit from a programme of fundraising events, beginning with a Testimonial Dinner on October 19th at the Ricoh Arena.

Simpson, the longest-serving player at the club, said: “I’m humbled and honoured to be awarded a Testimonial Year and can’t wait to look back and celebrate the last ten years with Wasps.

“The club has played a massive role in my life and I know the committee have got some great ideas planned so I do hope as many supporters as possible are able to join us and help raise money for three fantastic charities that are very close to my heart.”

Latest News

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins