NICK Robinson’s past and present will collide at Adams Park on Sunday when Wasps host Gloucester in a match brimming with potential.
Apart from having probably the two quickest back three divisions in the country – and an eagerness to throw them the ball and let them do their worst – Wasps and Gloucester have everything to play for in a match that will go a long way to deciding the top four.
Wasps have their noses in front at the moment and a win against the Cherry and Whites would open up a healthy gap between fourth and fifth, but Robinson knows it won’t be straightforward.
He said: “Their pack is playing really well this year. Their scrum is always up there, and their driving line-outs as well. We have to combat that.
“They’ve added a bit this year and their away form has been quite good. Beating Northampton quite convincingly last week will give them a massive boost of confidence.
“They’re going to be a tough side to break down and we all know how good their back three are with people like Charlie Sharples and Johnny May.
“They’re a real threat. Last year we made a few mistakes by kicking loose ball to them and they made us pay. We’ve got to be aware of that.
“But if we defend as we did last week and trust each other, we can make it difficult for sides coming to Adams Park, as we have done all year.
“We’re unbeaten at home in the Premiership and we want to keep that run going.”
Wasps’ fly half will have a big part to play in that. But this season Robinson can’t take that role for granted.
Stephen Jones’ arrival means there is genuine competition for the shirt and that seems to be bringing the best out of both players.
Robinson said: “When you’re sitting on the bench or you miss a few games, frustration builds so when you do get an opportunity you don’t want to let it go.
“I haven’t played every game this year so when I have played I’ve tried to make the most of it. I’ve tried to enjoy it and do as much as I can by taking the ball to the line and being a threat.
“That’s a big strength in my game so it’s something I’ve tried to do. The last thing I want to do is come off after 80 minutes without having been involved too much in the game.”
If Wasps do take the points on Sunday, they could find themselves with a six or seven point buffer with seven league matches remaining.
Robinson said: “We try not look at the league too much. We’re pleased with where we are but we know if we don’t keep building it will all be for nothing.
“As the season goes on, games become harder and harder and tighter and tighter so it’s important we do the little things well, recover well, and keep enjoying things.
“There is a good feeling in the camp and we’ve got to try and keep that going as long as we can.
“There will be a few downs before the end of the season but it’s important we keep being positive, because that’s really worked for us this year.
“Heineken Cup qualification is massive and it’s something we’ve missed in the last couple of years.
“If we can do that it would be a huge step up on the back of last year. Anything else would be a massive bonus.”