Wasps forwards driving the change

Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson

First published in Sport by

LAST season it was jet-heeled backs taking the credit for Wasps' return to the upper echelons of the Aviva Premiership, but Ashley Johnson is stating a case for their pack this term.

Johnson was part of the front eight that forced a gritty win at Newcastle Falcons last time out, and with a number of their star backs out through injury Dai Young has admitted Wasps have had to find a new way of winning this season.

Johnson said: "For us it's not about taking credit as a pack, or the backs taking credit, it's a collective at the end of the day. But I think we have grown as a pack of forwards from last year certainly, we are standing up a lot more and fronting up to the challenges being thrown at us.

"It was a big win for us [against Newcastle], especially after the long travelling we did, but it was tough conditions and Newcastle are a tough side so it was good to get the victory.

"We wanted to improve and there is still some work to do, but every game we try to improve.

"I don't really think [the forwards] have to shoulder more responsibility because of the injuries, I think conditions at this time of year favour forwards anyway. The time will come for the backs in April or May when it becomes a bit drier."

That 17-12 victory in the north east marked Wasps' third in a row on their travels in the Aviva Premiership.

But Johnson has urged his team-mates to replicate their away form at Adams Park, starting this weekend against Exeter Chiefs.

He said: "Our away form has been pretty good, and away wins in the Premiership are elusive at the best of times.

"But we want to do well at home as well. Of course we take pride from picking up results away from home but we pride ourselves on what we do at Adams Park mainly."

Every match in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season is crucial, to be there to support your team buy your ticket from premiershiprugby.com/tickets

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