Vellacott ready for new Wasps challenge
Ben Vellacott cannot wait to let the handbrake off this year and is confident Wasps are the club to bring out his best form.
The 24-year-old scrum-half joined from Gloucester Rugby this summer and will battle Dan Robson for game time in the No.9 jersey at the Ricoh Arena.
It has been a summer of change at Wasps with a huge number of ins and outs in the playing personnel.
Gone are the likes of Willie le Roux, Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes but in have come All Blacks like Malakai Fekitoa and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen as well as Italy flyer Matteo Minozzi.
Vellacott has arrived from the West Country with Joe Simpson heading in the opposite direction.
But while Gloucester cracked the top four last year and Wasps slipped to eighth, Vellacott is confident Wasps are the team for him.
“It was a pretty difficult decision to leave Gloucester,” he said.
“They are the first club I had been to and I had made some great friends there.
“But at the time I felt I wanted to push on in my career, and the way Wasps play their rugby suits me down to a tee.
“At the end of the day, that was the ultimate factor, the rugby they are trying to play suits and I feel I can bring a lot to the club and make my mark.
“If you look at the way Wasps have always played, they are an expansive side that love to express themselves.
“They are high-tempo and that suits me. Gloucester play a great brand of rugby, but Wasps revolve a lot of their game around their nine.
“The signings they have made as well, it is going to suit that style of rugby, it’s an exciting time to be a Wasps player.
“I love to get the ball in my hands, express myself, run with the ball and we have the licence here at Wasps to do that. To play that free-flowing running rugby.”
Enjoying the process 🖤💛 pic.twitter.com/XdXzJmRUiU
— Ben Vellacott (@BenjiVellacott9) July 29, 2019
Pulling the strings outside Vellacott will be another All Black in Lima Sopoaga at fly-half, and the 24-year-old No.9 is delighted at the quality he has linked up with this summer.
And the battle with Robson is going to be fierce all season long.
He added: “You want that competition with every position. That is what will drive you on, they are healthy. Dan and myself and the other two scrum-halves, we want to make each other better.
“Whoever gets picked at the weekend, gets picked at the weekend. You have to support and back that and when you get your opportunity you try and take it.
“It is exciting, Lima Malakai, that is an exciting back line for sure. The season comes around you will see the pace and power we have there.
“It is great to link up with them and hopefully we make a good start to the season.”
The struggles of last season have already been put to bed in pre-season by Dai Young.
The slate has been wiped clean with the large squad turnover and ambition still burns bright.
You can see the type of players that are trying to bring in, there is class across the field that adds to the depth. Having a few new faces does make it a bit easier to settle, the club is building for the future.
“With preseason being so long, it has given us a lot of time to spend together. Part of rugby is spending time together socially, we have gone for quite a few meals and had a few beers, getting to know each other and spend time outside rugby. That has helped me settle in better. When the season starts we will be a very settled, close-knit squad,” added Vellacott.
“Every Premiership club is going to be aiming for top four at the end of the season.
“But after the disappointment of last year we want to take each game as it comes, and with a new squad being brought together. It is not just going to happen overnight.”