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Preview: Wasps v Bath Rugby

Preview: Wasps v Bath Rugby

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson insists his side are looking to test themselves against the best when they welcome Bath Rugby to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

Wasps just missed out on a spot in the Aviva Premiership Rugby play-offs last year and kicked off this season with a narrow defeat to Harlequins.

They are now are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not remained winless in four successive games since March 2014.

But with a whole swathe of off-field matchday entertainment planned in the Jaguar Hall, Simpson is adamant his side are ready to rediscover that winning feeling at home.

“Bath were pipped by the better team on the day in the final against Saracens last season but of all the teams we faced they were the most dangerous,” he said.

“Some of their England guys played last weekend and we will have Hask [James Haskell] and Joe [Launchbury] available this weekend as well so it will be a great game.

“It is our first home game of the season and we cannot wait. I believe we have the best stadium in the league, over 20,000 people every week and they create a fantastic atmosphere that gives us a huge lift.

“There is a World Cup semi-final to watch as well so you will get two games for the price of one and they are putting on a big event in the Jaguar Hall so it should be a great day out.

“We have some things to work on after the Quins game, we didn’t convert our chances like we would like – that is something we need to work on if we want to improve on last year.”

Bath are going for a fourth successive away victory in the competition for the first time since March 2010.

They opened up this campaign with a dramatic 19-17 victory over Exeter Chiefs at the Rec last weekend and lock Dominic Day knows a fast start to the league could prove vital come the final reckoning.

“First of all, to win at home is key for us. I honestly think the Chiefs are going to be a top-four side this season and that is probably one of the toughest home games we will have,” he said.

“We all had the option of having a week off but we all wanted to get back in there, get stuck in and they wanted to get their minds off the World Cup. They (England players) wanted to move on from that (last weekend) and I thought they did that really well.

“Wasps have built quite a squad over the last couple of years and they made some quality signings over the summer. They will be really disappointed after losing to Quins last week and they will want to get their season back on track.

“Our game at Wasps last season was one of the last at Adams Park so I have never played at the Ricoh. It looks like a cracking stadium and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Ricoh Arena, 2pm

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys. (5th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Peter Allan. TMO: David Grashoff.

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