London Welsh full-back Alex Davies has called on side to rise to the occasion of their local derby with London Wasps on Sunday, insisting the Aviva Premiership new-boys must stop flying backs Tom Varndell and Christian Wade.
Wasps have defied their Aviva Premiership league position of eighth by notching 144 points – the fourth highest in the competition.
Much of that is owed to the form of Varndell and Wade, who have grabbed four and three league tries respectively this season.
But while Davies acknowledges the form of the English pair, he also claims that if Welsh get their tactics right they could pick up their first London derby victory of the season.
And after securing their inaugural European victory on Saturday against Cavalieri Prato in the Amlin Challenge Cup, the 26-year-old is relishing a return to the rough and tumble at Adams Park.
“It’s been a while since we played in the Premiership, but Wasps will be another tough game and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.
“Wasps play some electric rugby at times, they have some exceptionally quick players, particular out wide with Christian Wade and Tom Varndell, and in the likes of James Haskell they have some great experience.
“It’s a big game for the club, the fans love the local derbies but for us we have to treat it as just another game and front up to the challenge.”
Wasps have had a successful European break of their own, two wins from two Amlin Challenge Cup ties came hot on the heels of a 10-6 victory over Worcester Warriors in the Premiership.
And in-form Varndell admits the confidence a fourth consecutive victory over the Exiles would bring is motivation in itself.
“It is absolutely massive we follow up our last win in the Aviva Premiership with this one and get a bit of momentum going,” he said.
“This run of games before Christmas is absolutely crucial to the season and to keep our confidence so we are in a good position.
“It is nice to think people think we are entertaining and the tries are coming but as long as we win I don’t care – you can’t run in a 70-yarder every week.
“It was really good for the boys to get the wins out in Europe and that has got us flying so hopefully we can continue to run in the tries.
“Things weren’t going well in any aspect of our game last season so the tries flowing is really nice and we are working really hard on the defensive part of our game.”
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU, 6th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Andrew Watson.
(Adams Park, 3pm)