A wet and windy Friday night at Kingston Park is never an easy task, but London Wasps’ Ashley Johnson is confident they can match Newcastle Falcons in tricky conditions.
Wasps have been inconsistent of late but much of their recent Aviva Premiership form has been on the road, claiming wins at Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in their last two away matches.
Dai Young’s side sit eighth in the table but they are just five points from the top four and a win against the struggling Falcons would send them into the New Year on a high.
With heavy winds and rain affecting much of the country this week, Johnson is expecting a frosty reception in Newcastle, but he believes running high-flying Northampton Saints close last weekend has Wasps desperate for more.
“They do play the conditions very well as well so for us it's about adapting,” he said.
“We've had a taste of the type of conditions we're going to play in there with it being so wet and windy against Northampton.
“We're confident in those conditions so we've just got to go and execute it next week when we go there.
“They've got a really good forward pack and they're really tough to beat at home. Hopefully we can take the confidence we've got from the game against Northampton and take it into this week.”
For Newcastle, the challenge is about turning opportunities into points, after failing to score a try in each of their last four Aviva Premiership matches.
The Wasps clash is one of two Friday night home games across the festive period and director of rugby Dean Richards is hoping to see the supporters out in force to help the Falcons reverse their fortunes.
“It’s going to be a massive two weeks for us, starting with the Wasps game on Friday, and I can’t wait,” said Richards.
“The festive season is always a busy time for Premiership rugby, and what better way to continue the festivities than to come to Kingston Park and cheer the lads on.”
Referee: Wayne Barnes (129th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher.