Wasps kick their tournament off against Welsh outfit Newport Gwent Dragons at Adams Park on Saturday October 13 at 20.10 before heading to Italy to take on Rugby Mogliano.
There are back to back games against Bayonne for the second year running in December and Southwell says, the nature of the competition means that there are no second chances with every single game vital to top the pool and qualify for the Quarter-Finals.
“Playing in Europe brings with it a different kind of pressure but one I think we are all very much looking forward to. From our point of view we’ve got a home game up first which, if we want to do anything in this tournament, we’ve got start well in and get that vital first win."
“Newport are a good strong side and they are going well this season so it’s not an easy first clash for us but in this tournament there aren’t many second chances - you’ve got to win your home games and go away and do well to give yourself any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages and that’s our target this weekend.”
Southwell said he hoped Wasps could give the crowd an entertaining game on Saturday night.
“If the weather is decent and our crowd can generate a good evening atmosphere there on Saturday night, it could be a great game under the lights. We played Newport in a high scoring night game at Adams Park last season, though unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of the score-line, but there will be two teams there looking to play.”
Southwell also said he looked forward to the challenges of facing Mogliano and Bayonne in the coming months.
“I don’t know too much about Mogliano to be honest but I know when we went to Rovigo last year they threw absolutely everything at us and we did well to get the bonus point late in the game so I can’t imagine it will be much different. Italian sides always give you a massive physical workout and that’s what we will get there. Bayonne we know well from last year and I’ve played them a bit when I was in France as well. They have a formidable group of players there and we can’t wait to go down there and play them. Their ground is fantastic with a great atmosphere and that’s a challenge you want to meet head on.”
Don't forget our great ticket offer for Saturday night's game! Fans can purchase a ticket for the Newport game and receive a like for like ticket FREE for the game against Bayonne (December 13) in an offer that is available for all areas of the ground. This offer is subject to availability so give us a call now to secure your seats! Call 0844 225 2990 now to book your seat for Newport and secure your free ticket to Bayonne at the same time.