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Preview: London Irish v Wasps

Preview: London Irish v Wasps

Wasps centre Elliot Daly insists Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby clash against London Irish is crucial on two fronts – for points and sentiment.

Among those likely to be involved for the last time in a Wasps shirt this weekend are fly-half Andy Goode and flying wing Tom Varndell.

Goode will actually join up with Irish once the season is over, while Varndell will move to Bristol, and Daly wants to put on a performance to make the duo proud.

"This weekend is a massive one for us. We want to go out on a high as we’ve got a number of boys that are leaving the club having been with us for quite a few years,” said Daly. "So it would be good to send them off with a win and hopefully we can do that.”

Wasps require a minimum of two points from this encounter the ensure qualification for next season's European Champions Cup – less if Sale Sharks lose at Exeter Chiefs.

Wasps tripped up 21-26 at home to Leicester Tigers in round 21, the first time they had failed to score a try in an Aviva Premiership Rugby match since December 2013.

And Daly admits they need to improve if they are to get the required result at the Madejski Stadium.

“The boys came in a little battered and bruised early in the week, but we’ve got a couple of good training days in and hopefully we can carry that on the rest of this week and into the game with London Irish on Saturday,” he added.

"London Irish are a team that likes to chuck the ball around a bit and they like to attack from all areas, especially at home.

"They’ve got nothing to lose, so it will certainly be a very hard game for us down in Reading, but we are confident we can get the job done."

London Irish are already confirmed as tenth-place finishers in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season and have been defeated in their last two encounters in the competition, at Bath Rugby and at Gloucester Rugby.

The Exiles have lost just once at Madejski Stadium since November – 6-12 to Leicester Tigers in round 15 – but their only victory over Wasps in their last five fixtures in all tournaments was 23-20 at Adams Park in February 2014.

Wasps won 19-12 on their most recent visit to Madejski Stadium in November 2013 but Exiles hooker David Paice is eager to put that right.

"Everyone will be looking to get it running well and that can start against Wasps this weekend,” he said.

"We know we are playing for pride on Saturday – I realise it's an old cliché but it is very true for us as players, and we want to repay the supporters that have followed us through a frustrating campaign.

"They deserve to go out on a high and that means us doing our best and giving them a win.”

Madejski Stadium, 3.30pm

Referee: JP Doyle (95th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest and Andrew Pearce. TMO: David Grashoff.

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