Lance Corporal Ricky Reeves, a member of the 33 Engineer Regiment bomb disposal unit, joined Wasps over the summer and impressed in the front row last weekend against Saracens.
He says while the team were disappointed to lose out, the game was still a special occasion for him as he ran out at Adams Park for the first time since arriving at the Club.
“A lot of the lads were very disappointed after the game last week because there were just way too many unforced errors and a team like Saracens will punish you every time. We have been working on cutting the unforced errors out in training this week.”
“Despite the loss, it was awesome for me to get my first game at Adams Park, it was a really good experience. The supporters were amazing and really got behind us, but I had to try really hard to block that out of my mind so I could focus purely on the game.”
Reeves is enjoying getting fully stuck into the team following some injury setbacks earlier in the season and a break where he got married.
“It’s going really well now. I literally had 10 days from the end of the Championship season to the start of preseason here so subsequently I didn’t get much time off and I think my body was a bit broken as a consequence. I then took some time off to get married, which had been planned before I started at Wasps, and obviously it was great but it then meant that I had to try and fit back in again, which is always difficult when all the lads have been together training hard whilst you’ve been away. They are all playing so well too here at the moment!”
Having spent last season with RFU Championship Club Bedford, Reeves explains that although the transition to fulltime rugby has been significant, he jumped at the chance to play top flight rugby.
“The Army were great to let me come here and in fulltime rugby, you get so much more time to think about everything. Even being able to have full gym sessions during the day is a revelation for me because at Bedford I would turn up after a full day’s work in the Army and try and fit in a quick gym session.”
“It was a hard choice for me to leave but I was always going to come to Wasps once I was given the offer. Every sportsman will say that their aim is to become the best they can possibly be. To be given the chance and for my Commanding Officer at the barracks to let me go was amazing. They have been so supportive too, I would have never been able to get here without those guys helping me out.”
Reeves hasn’t arrived at Wasps in the conventional way and explains a bit about his role in the Army with the 33 Engineer Regiment.
“I am part of 33 Engineer Regiment which is a bomb disposal unit. I’m a trained searcher and go as part of the search team to dispose of IED’s (improvised explosive devices). At the regiment everything and anything is based around bomb disposal, whether it is going and making sure there are no bomb threats at big sports games to clearing MP’s meetings – everything really! I have also done tours to both Afghanistan and Jordan.”
Reeves is hoping to feature in the game this weekend against Newport Gwent Dragons and is aware that these LV=Cup games give players the opportunity to get noticed.
“I am always going to try and put my hand up to get into the 23 because at the end of the day that is what everyone wants to do. But with everyone playing so well it is going to be tough but I will always try and take any opportunity that presents itself.”