FOR some of Wasps’ younger generation, tonight’s trip to Cardiff Arms Park will their first taste of crossing the border under the banner of the St George’s flag and playing a Welsh team on their home soil.
James Haskell has been there before and he and Tom Rees were given a few life lessons by old campaigner Martyn Williams back in the day.
It might be the LV Cup, but Cardiff Blues will want to dish out a few more this evening.
Wasps hooker Thomas Rhys Thomas, who has sat in the Cardiff dressing room before games against English sides, knows what’s coming.
He said: “I think there’s always a lot of atmosphere when an English team goes to play in Cardiff and that’s the way it should be – they are the old enemy.”
However, with so many Welsh links at Wasps now, this will be a case of blue of blue and Thomas admits the game brings with it an underlying agenda.
He said: “There are a few of my friends still there and I’m sure if one of them gets the ball I’ll try and go in a little extra hard, that’s just how it is.
“When you play against teams that you used to play for you can play too hard and end up with egg on your face, so you have to be careful to play your normal game and not get caught up in the moment.
“If you let the game come to you and a bounce comes your way then fantastic, but for sure there will be a few guys I’ll be looking to have some sly digs with.”
Thomas is one of five Welsh players in Wasps’ squad, while director of rugby Dai Young was at Cardiff for 16 years.
Thomas said: “Dai obviously has a huge connection there really and I think it will be stranger for him than it will be for me because I can just get out there and play.
“I’m sure come warm up it’s just going to be like any other game. I will probably just have more of a boost but I’m used to that anyway.”