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Cooper-Woolley: we have to play with ambition

This week we caught up with last Friday's try-scorer Jake Cooper-Woolley ahead of the side's clash against league-leaders Saracens.

The men in black and gold return to Adams Park on Saturday after three weeks away from the home ground, to welcome current league leaders and London rivals Saracens.

Dai Young's men have had a tough run of late, with a series of results not going to plan for this crucial part of the season. However, a last-second dart for the line against Worcester Warriors last Friday saw Jake Cooper-Woolley claim the try that gave Wasps a much-needed win and a change of momentum going into this fixture.

"I think we have all been a bit on edge the last few weeks with results not really going the way we would like them and the pressure both internally and externally has been building up for us to get some wins back on the board.
We had a strong middle part of the season and picked up some good wins but have since had some poor performances that have really tailed off. I think you could really tell on Friday night how much pressure everyone was putting on themselves, especially as Worcester were labelling the fixture as a ‘must win’ game for them."

"The nerves were really apparent and, for us, we are just happy that we managed to get over the line. You can tell today how relieved everyone is, it is our first full training day and it has definitely been one of the best training sessions we have had this year. Everyone is a lot less tense and seemingly able to play more freely without worrying about external pressures."

Cooper-Woolley says that getting the details right will be vital against a team with bags of experience this weekend when they play Saracens.

"Everyone knows what Saracens bring to the table. They are a really good team, they put a lot of pressure on you and kick chase really well, so I think we need to really work on those areas, so that when we are kicked to we know our roles inside and out. We will be going out there on Saturday with real ambition to play because it will be a very difficult game to win if you get into a kicking battle with that set of experienced guys. We will be looking to avoid getting into a tight game with them and to focus on playing as much rugby as possible."

Wasps have a series of important fixtures to come, with the Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final against Gloucester swiftly following the Saracens game. Cooper-Woolley says that the Quarter Final is a pivotal game for the team but it is important not too get carried away looking too far ahead.

"It’s a really big finish to the season for us. Despite the run of games we have to come, we are really concentrating on looking at each game separately on a week by week basis. We’ve got the Amlin Quarter Final next week and we will be really targeting that as a game we need to win. In regards to the Premiership we know that we need to pick up some points against some pretty big teams who are steamrolling at the moment and all aiming for a top 4 spot so it’s going to be tough. We have Gloucester hot on our heels so every game is a massive game for us and having blown the cobwebs out of our system after Friday we are really targeting getting some of the form back that we were showing in the middle part of the season."

For tickets to this weekend's game against Saracens, the Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final or any of the upcoming Wasps games click here.