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Preview: London Welsh v Wasps

Preview: London Welsh v Wasps

Wasps centre Elliot Daly believes his side will need to be ruthless to claim a first Aviva Premiership Rugby away win since December in their clash with London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium.

The two sides have met on four previous occasions in all competitions with Wasps taking the spoils every time.

But as the battle for the top-six begins to take shape, Wasps will need to claim as many points as possible in their hunt for an automatic European Rugby Champions Cup spot next season.

And Daly knows his side will need to improve dramatically after winning just one of their last five fixtures in all tournaments.

“It’s a massive game for us because we’ve had three losses in a row in all competitions so we want to put that right against London Welsh,” he admitted.

“We need to put in a good performance and come away with at least four points, if not five, because we’ve got some tough games coming up.

“We’ve got four testing games before the end of the season and we are not going underestimate Welsh.

“The last time we played them it was really tight for the first 20 minutes before we ran away with it near the end but they are a Premiership team so will be a challenge.”

But new London Welsh forwards coach James Buckland insists his team have a point to prove against Wasps after last week’s defeat to Bath Rugby confirmed the Exiles’ 12th-placed finish in the table.

Buckland, who played for Leicester Tigers, Wasps and London Irish, has joined the Oxford-based club until the end of the season after leaving his former post at London Scottish back in January.

He joins a side attempting to achieve a fifth Aviva Premiership Rugby victory at Kassam Stadium – the other four all coming during their only previous foray into Premiership Rugby back in 2012/13.

And after watching Welsh’s spirited display in their last home defeat against Bath, Buckland is hopeful his side can show some attacking flair in their clash with Wasps.

“Even though we lost the game against Bath there was a little spark there and the guys came out having made some improvements that we targeted,” he explained.

“Wasps obviously ran Toulon pretty close last week at their place and looking at us you would say Wasps should be able to play even better.

“They are one of the teams that needs maximum points going into the end of the year, and I’m sure they will come with a plan to try and score a lot of tries.

“So the big challenge for us is to try and prevent them from doing that and try to score a few of our own.

“They will want to use their up-front dominance to give them a platform to play, so we’ll have to do our best to match that.”
 
(Kassam Stadium, 2.30pm)
Referee: Greg Garner (79th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Peter Huckle. TMO: Graham Hughes.

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