The game is part of an annual tournament in Issoire called “Challenge Auvergne” with Italian side Zebre also facing French outfit Tarbes Pyrénées on the same night at the same venue.
For Clermont, this is the final game of their pre season schedule, with the Top 14 set to kick off the following weekend, and Director of Rugby Dai Young is expecting a tough outing.
“The game on Friday night comes quite early for us and we are playing a high quality team who already have some pre season games under their belts. They are much further along their preparation than we are, given that their season kicks off next week, so it will be a very good challenge for us. We will be a little undercooked but it’s all part of our own preparation to the start of our season.”
The game will be a full 80 minute match but Wasps will be using rolling substitutes throughout.
“It will be a serious hit out for them but for our part I won’t be giving anyone 80 minutes if I can help it. It’s probably a little bit soon and I think 60 minutes is the most anyone will play,” Young said.
In the days leading up to the game, the Wasps boss expects his players to be working hard.
“This week will very much be a continuation of what we have been doing in Acton all summer. There will be a high fitness element but obviously we’re going to be building towards a game at the end of the week. We will be putting a lot of things in place leading into the game which we haven’t done much up until now in terms of contact and so on. We know we won’t be totally right but we will be better by the second game the week after. The important thing is that we get some game intensity under our belts and we try and look at some of the things we’ve been working on.”
The trip to France though will not all be hard work, he added.
“It’s important too that we get away for a week from Acton for a bit of bonding. We have a lot of new faces and spending time together is important leading into the season so the boys will have some time to do that as well, which is all part of what you do at this time of year.”
London Wasps Pre Season fixtures:
Clermont Auvergne v London Wasps (at Issoire Rugby Club), Friday 9th August (20.00)
Connacht v London Wasps (at the Sportsground), Saturday 17th August (17.00)
London Wasps v London Irish (at Adams Park), Saturday 24th August (15.00)
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