Defending champions await Wasps in LV=Cup

Bucks Free Press: Wasps braced for Leicester Wasps braced for Leicester

NOT since the autumn of 2004 have Wasps put together the sort of run they’re on now.

Six straight wins and seven unbeaten is impressive in anyone’s book. But it will take an epic effort tomorrow if they are going to challenge the nine-game winning run they put together between September and November 2004.

Leicester away, with seven internationals absent and an eighth injured, has the smell of disaster about it.

Forwards coach Trevor Woodman said: “Leicester will be losing a lot more players than us to the Saxons and England.

“But they’ve still got a strong and competitive squad and going to Welford Road is always tough.

“The boys in their squad will want to prove something to [Richard Cockerill] and show him that they should be in his XV, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.

“But with the history, it’s one we look forward to and it’s up to these boys to create their own history going forward.”

The good news for Wasps is that the game is in the LV Cup.

It’s the third of their three priorities this season and losing in Cardiff in November means Wasps are already facing an uphill struggle to reach the last four.

Woodman said: “You just don’t know where you stand in the LV Cup.

“Because of the way it’s run you don’t play against the other teams in your group so you have no control over your group apart from going out and winning your next game.

“But if we win and London Irish and Saracens don’t then it puts us in a strong position.”

On top of the international absentees, Wasps are also likely to rotate a number of other first choice players this week and next, when they host Sale in the same competition.

Woodman said: “It will be a great opportunity for those players who haven’t had much rugby in the last few of months.

“The squad players can put their case forward to be involved in those other competitions later in the season.

“I’m looking forward to a strong performance against Leicester and Sale, it’s their chance to really stick their hands up and show everyone what they’re capable of.

“They’re showing us on the training field. It will be nice to get out there for them.”

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