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Birkett praises Wasps support

Long-serving lock Richard Birkett has poured praise on the London Wasps fans who he says have been hugely supportive during a difficult spell for the team.

Birkett, who has made 257 appearances for Wasps in over a decade at the Club said:

“The good thing about Twitter and things like that is the direct link we have with our fans who have all been massively supportive. They have recognised that the players are giving it absolutely everything on the pitch. They see the state of us after games, they have seen that there are a lot of injuries, that there is a lot of uncertainty and that it is not easy. They have stuck right behind us and the crowds seem to be getting louder and louder, which does make a huge difference. I think that they have been at their noisiest when we have been struggling recently and that says a lot. When you are at the top of a league it is very easy to give it the big one as a supporter, but when the chips are down that’s when you have to stick together as a playing squad, as supporters and as a Club.”

Birkett, who captained Wasps against Harlequins last weekend, also praised the efforts of a number of his young team-mates who have been forced to step up to become regular first team players this season.

With a well-documented number of injuries and forced retirements hindering the team’s advances this season, Wasps have relied heavily on a raft of talented youngsters who Birkett says have shown fantastic resolve.

“I have been massively impressed with all of those players who I think have shown maturity beyond their years. You look at Sam (Jones), Elliot (Daly), Joe (Launchbury) and Christian (Wade) and it’s not like we have asked them to come in step up and do a job on a one off, it has been every single week and it is asking a lot of them. I know that when I was that age, I got the odd 20 minutes here and there which was enough for me at that stage but these guys are stepping up for 80 minutes every week so you have to take your hat off to them.”

Birkett added that the team is well aware of the importance of Saturday’s game against Bath, with Wasps desperate to secure their Aviva Premiership status before the final round.

“The Bath game is huge for obvious reasons. While we were disappointed to get nothing at the weekend; playing Quins away was always going to be really tough. I was very impressed with them. They are physical and confident and how they play reminds me of the way we played when we were doing well.”

“Bath have their own off-field issues too but they’ll be well up for their last home game. We know going into it that, depending on other results, if we put in a big performance this weekend and get the win, then that could be enough. But I wouldn’t underestimate Newcastle’s ability to win this weekend either. They surprised a few people last weekend and fair play to them - they are fighting.”

London Wasps play Bath this weekend before returning to Adams Park on May 5 to play their final outing of the season.

Bookings can be be made over the telephone for that game by calling 0844 225 2990 or book online here.