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Daly excited by Stade challenge

This week we caught up with Elliot Daly as the squad prepare for a two-legged European qualification decider against Stade Francais.

Last weekend’s loss to Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens was not ideal preparation for two season-defining fixtures. In the next two weeks, Wasps will come up against a Stade Francais side brimming with internationally capped players but Daly says he and his teammates are relishing the challenge.

“We got shown up last weekend and we need to put it right this Sunday. It was uncharacteristic of the way we have been playing towards the end of this season. We were off the mark and made too many errors and they pounced on those errors.”

“It’s a bit of a cliché but this weekend is a chance to put that right. Opportunities don’t come much bigger than these two games against Stade Francais.”

“We’ve got two massive games for the Club’s history coming up now so we are all looking forward to those. I have never played Stade before but they are always a team that I have admired in the French league so it should be great.”

Despite a flawless record in France this season, it is clear that Stade Francais will provide a different challenge and Daly highlights the importance of the first fixture, at Adams Park.

“France is always a tough place to go but we have made a good account of ourselves this season. We have a one hundred percent record in France this season so definitely in our minds we know we can do it.”

“Saying all of that, the home draw will be massive and we need to get as many people there as possible to push us along and help us to get a bit of a lead going into the second leg. Ideally we need to put as many points past them this weekend as possible because it’s not going to be easy going to Paris if we have points to make up.”

Familiar with his abilities from his stint alongside him last summer for the Barbarians, Daly says that Sergio Parisse’s imminent return to the side will be a big boost for Stade Francais and that his threat will be something Wasps have to try to limit.

“Sergio Parisse looks like he will be back this weekend which is great timing for them and not so much for us! I played with him for the Barbarians and he is one of those players who leads a team so well. If we can try to keep him quiet along with some of their exciting backs we have a good chance.”

Wasps also have a number of important figures who have returned to fitness recently and Daly says having competition for places at this stage of the season is key to success.

“There is always competition for starting jerseys but it is great for Dai to be able to have choice and to pick from a largely injury free squad [subject to fitness tests tomorrow]. Everyone wants to play this week so these next two days will be massive at the training ground and the squad that is selected need to get together and really push each other. Every little helps this week!”

Tickets for the first leg of the European Rugby Champions Cup play-off are on sale from the Wasps Ticket Office. Secure your place now by visiting wasps.co.uk/tickets

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