27th Jun, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Every game feels like knockout rugby ahead of Biarritz test

WASPS Head Coach Lee Blackett admits every game feels like knockout rugby as Wasps prepare to resume their European campaign in Biarritz on Good Friday.

The club were knocked out of the European Champions Cup at the group phase but amassed enough points to drop into the Challenge Cup after notably beating defending champions Toulouse.

And Wasps will meet another French side in the round of 16 in European rugby’s secondary competition with Biarritz announced as the club’s opponents last weekend.

Wasps remain in the hunt for a play-off spot in the Gallagher Premiership and know that any slip up would effectively end their top-four ambitions which could play to their advantage later this week.

Blackett said: “Yeah [it feels like a second chance], we let ourselves down with two very poor games against Munster home and away and as a result we find ourselves in this competition.

“It’s something we’re excited about, to go to play a team like Biarritz, a few years ago Wasps and Biarritz was Heineken Cup rugby at its best, everyone is excited about going out there.

“There’s a big feeling of knockout rugby at the moment in everything we do, that’s where we’re at, we’re going to have to take every game as it comes.

“It’s something that is heavily driving competition, you can see the competitiveness within the squad, with the majority of players fit it’s exciting.

“People are desperate to play now, we know how important every single game is if we want to achieve anything this year.”

The club enjoyed a week off after their impressive win at Gloucester and take on a Biarritz side who are currently bottom of the Top 14 table having lost their last five league matches.

Blackett added: “We trained hard at the back end of last week and found out we got Biarritz on late Saturday night.

“Normally we’d use it as a down-load week, we didn’t, we ramped training up after a great win against Gloucester and we want to carry on that momentum.

“We didn’t back down last week, it wasn’t a recovery week, we probably trained harder than we have done previously.

“We found out late Sunday that the game is on the Friday, we could have faced several options but to come up against Biarritz – everyone knows what a massive club it is.

“It’s somewhere I’ve never been personally, it’s something everyone is looking forward to.”

Wasps make the trip to Biarritz on Friday, April 15 with kick-off at 6pm at Parc des Sports Aguiléra.

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