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Gresev keen to make a mark

Russian backrow Victor Gresev says he is keen to make his mark in the London Wasps side starting with this weekend's LV=Cup game against Northampton.

Gresez, along with fellow Russian Vladislav Korshunov, is pushing for involvement in this weekend's game at Franklin's Gardens, having impressed since arriving on a deal last week until the end of the season.

The two experienced internationals, who shone during their country's debut World Cup over the summer in New Zealand, have added to the squad's options in two key positions, and have been involved in full training this week.

Gresev says that he has been very impressed with the professional set up of a Premiership club since arriving, and expresses how keen he is to work hard and secure a place in the competition long term.

“It has been really good so far. What is obvious straight away coming from Russia is how professional everything is. There is a set timetable here for the whole week and everyone knows exactly what they are doing. It is a completely different environment to what I am used to but I am really enjoying it."

“It has always been a dream of mine to play in one of the big rugby leagues and the Aviva Premiership is one of the biggest. I have watched a lot of Premiership fixtures while in Russia and I have always wanted to be a part of that.”

“I would love to stay in England after the end of the season and play Premiership rugby so I hope to prove that I am good enough to do that. If I get a chance to play this weekend I will be giving it everything."

Most Wasps fans will be familiar with Gresev by way of videos on Youtube, which show the athletic back rower marauding around the field during the World Cup in New Zealand. When asked what type of player he is he admits that his running game is one of his strong points, but he also says that he enjoys the defensive side of the game.

“I see myself as a strong ball carrier I guess, I like running with the ball. I also enjoy the defensive side, making tackles and working hard around the tackle area.

Having featured in their first World Cup in 2011, Russian Rugby has made some serious moves forward in recent years and the fact that there are now four Russian internationals playing in the Aviva Premiership is testament to that. With Vasily Artemiev at Northampton, Andrey Ostrikov at Sale, as well as Adam Byrnes at the Melbourne Rebels, Gresev says that the future of rugby for his country is bright, and that he is sure there will be more Russians featuring in the top domestic competitions before long.

“There are four Russians in the Premiership now and that is a good thing for us. After our first World Cup in New Zealand over the summer I think that Russian rugby will continue to improve. There are a lot of talented rugby players in Russia and the more exposure they get the more people will see that."

The next London Wasps game at Adams Park is against Saracens in the Avvia Premiership on Sunday, February 12. To secure your place call 0844 225 2990 or book online here.

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