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Simpson: Wasps stars starting to hit their peak

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson insists most of the side are now beginning to fire on all cylinders after an up-and-down start to the Aviva Premiership Rugby season.

Dai Young’s side avenged their defeat to Bath Rugby in Europe last week by bouncing back and beating their Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals 36-10 away from home.

That result put Wasps in pole position to qualify from their Champions Cup pool, but they sit sixth in the domestic table and have been plagued by the same inconsistency in the league that they faced last year.

But Simpson believes many of his teammates, including fellow England hopefuls Joe Launchbury and Elliot Daly, are beginning to hit their peak just at the right time.

“It was frustrating to lose to Bath the week before after a good training week, but it didn’t quite come off for us and they were worthy of that victory,” he said.

“So come last weekend we knew we had to up our performance given the strength of our squad and how dynamic we are.

“And not only were we really aggressive around the breakdown and pretty clinical when it came to finishing off our opportunities, but personally I was pleased with how I played.

“I took more on and I thought Jimmy [Gopperth] had a fantastic game, and when you’ve got two top-class ten’s that are almost interchangeable then it really does help the team.

“Daly got the headlines and that was fully deserved I think, but I thought [James] Haskell was also fantastic and Launchbury was out of this world too.

“Elliot was from minute one making that break and putting us on the front foot. He’s one of the only players in Aviva Premiership Rugby that can do that from tricky exit positions, and is becoming a more complete player all the time.”

New England head coach Eddie Jones was in attendance when Wasps took on Bath in Coventry, but is sure to pay close attention to their game with champions Saracens this weekend.

With Simpson hotly tipped to mount a challenge for the No.9 jersey in the Australian’s new-look England side, he may come up against another rival in Richard Wigglesworth.

But the 27-year-old is adamant he will only be focused on helping his side to their fourth Aviva Premiership rugby victory of the season.

He said: “Sometimes it does add something extra to the occasion if you know you are playing against someone who could end up with an edge over you at the end of the game.

“It gives it a bit of extra spice, but at the same time guys don’t really compete with each other that much; it’s not that much of a confrontation in terms of position.

“But any positive for Wasps is a positive for me. I have to drive the team round, and both fly-halfs and both No.9’s will be looking to do that and fight fire with fire.

“You have to be really savvy when it comes to game management this weekend as small mistakes will cost us.”

Click here to see the rest of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures #AvivaPrem

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