Arriving at London Wasps with an injury meant that Will Helu’s start to life in London was a tough one. However, since returning from international duty with Tonga, injury to Christian Wade has opened the door for him to stake a claim for a starting place. That is exactly what he has done, starting in the last four games and picking up the Man of the Match award against Northampton Saints last weekend. Helu says that he has loved the chance to be involved in a run of games.
“Losing Wadey to injury was unfortunate for the team as he is such an influential player and losing a guy like that is huge but for me personally it was an opportunity to show what I can do and I have loved that. I came to the Club injured so it is always tough to get back into it and I was always playing a game of catch up. I’m happy where I am at but there is still a lot of hard work to come for me if I want to keep my spot.”
Even with Wade out injured, Helu finds himself in a good pool of wingers vying for the two starting places and he says they are all pushing each other to be better players.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the other wingers here at the Club and I think there is a healthy competition between us guys and we are pushing each other in the right direction. Whoever takes to the pitch will be there because they deserve to play and that is a great thing. If you don’t make the cut you just have to go back to the training field and work even harder the next week.”
“I just pride myself on trying to do the basics well and that is my focus at the moment. Some of the other guys here have some real x-factor and it is great for me to be around them every day and try to pick up some bits from each of them. Christian [Wade] obviously has brilliant feet and he is so quick off the mark, Tom Varndell is lightning quick if you give him a little bit of space and he is a great finisher while Josh Bassett is a young guy with speed and strength who will cause a real problem for defences. If I can focus on getting the basics right and pick up little bits from those other guys I will be in a good place.”
Despite an agonizing last-minute loss to Northampton Saints at the weekend, there were some clear positives to take from the game and Helu says that is what the team are focussing on this week as they prepare to take on Newcastle Falcons this Friday night at Kingston Park.
“There were definitely a lot of positives to take from the weekend. Obviously the boys were really gutted about the result and especially the manner in which we lost the game. Northampton are a top side and we were pleased about the way we matched them and if we continue to front up in the way we did on Saturday we will hopefully come out on top in the next one. There’s a lot of positives there and we have to take those into the next game.”
“There are a few sore bodies this week, especially at the start of the week but we are all in good spirit. It is Christmas which helps but after the initial disappointment from Saturday the boys have all picked themselves up and we are really focussing on the positives from that game. Everyone is looking forward to Friday and the chance to push on from the last performance.”
“We feel as though every week we are building on our game plan and working on the structures we want to be playing. The way we have played in recent weeks has been really positive; we are playing to the conditions but also chancing our arm when we feel like it is on. It is up to us to execute what we have been working on each week on the training field.”
“We all know that Newcastle are a very tough side to beat at home and a Friday night at Kingston Park towards the end of December is probably one of the hardest times to go and play them. We are expecting a really physical game but we are going to have to roll up our sleeves and get into them. It is going to be a tough one and we cannot shirk away from that.”
London Wasps travel to take on Newcastle at Kingston Park this Friday, kick off 19.45 live on BT Sport, before returning to Adams Park the following Sunday 5th Jan to face Exeter Chiefs, kick off 15:00. To secure your place at the game go to wasps.co.uk/tickets.