Press Conference Notes
Wasps Defence Coach Ian Costello spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (kick-off 3pm).
Here’s what he had to say:
On returning to action after two weeks without a game
- A week off with that piece of mind of having won a game (against Worcester), as opposed to a week off when you’re soul-searching, is completely different in terms of how you come back and how fresh you might feel.
- If you look back at the last three games, we’ve picked up 12 points. There were three tries against Quins and then bonus-point tries in each of the next three games. It comes down to margins in these games and just to come out the right side was important and hopefully this is us turning a corner and kicking on from here.
- First and foremost we needed a break after 19 weeks straight. It was pretty relentless with some ups and downs.
- To come back in refreshed, we broke the last two weeks into two parts. The first half of the week was just to get back into the speed of things again with a lot of generic work and skill work. Thursday and Friday we started focusing on Leicester. It’s great because it feels like we’ve had a long week in terms of preparation.
- It does feel like a local derby. It was my first taste of it last year. There’s some fantastic rivalry.
- They’re a team with a huge amount of history and tradition.
- Looking at the Premiership from Ireland, Leicester and Wasps were two of the big teams you would look at and now for that to be a local derby and to be part of that, is pretty incredible.
- Last year it came down to one moment and we don’t expect it to be any different this year.
- It’ll be physical, it’ll be attritional and hopefully a high-quality game too.
On the Premiership table and Saracens relegation
- Realistically, everyone knows that pressure has been lifted with Saracens’ relegation and you can focus a little more on looking up the table.
- If you do look at the table and how tight it is between fourth and tenth, you can see that one or two games can turn your season around.
- There’s no doubt this is an eight-pointer this weekend. We’re all scrapping for points but we have to focus on ourselves at this point and see if we can go to Welford Road and pick up another win and build the momentum that we’ve had the last little while.
- Will Rowlands and Jacob Umaga are back with us for the week. They’ve come back looking hungry because they haven’t had much gametime over the last few weeks and having those in for the full week is a major plus.
- Matteo Minozzi played for Italy on Sunday but he returned to training on Tuesday.
- James Gaskell had a foot knock in training but we’re waiting to find out more about the extent of it.
- Malakai Fekitoa (knee) is a doubt for the weekend. He isn’t training at the moment.
- Marcus Watson (Achilles) is back in training and back in contention.
- Lima Sopoaga (calf) is back training.
- Zurabi Zhvania is also back in contention for selection.
On international players
- If you’re realistic and selfless as possible, I think it’s important for the Club to have as many players as possible involved at the high end.
- You want as many people representing their countries as possible. There are so many positive connotations to it.
- From a selfish point of view, it gives us a chance to kick on from that last block and build that continuity in selection. Once we got over the issues we had around the front-five with injury, we’ve been able to select from a pretty strong squad.
Get your hands on tickets to Wasps upcoming home games v Saracens and Gloucester Rugby by clicking the link below or calling 02476 786411.