Press Notes - Tuesday 24 September

Date: 24 Sep 2019

Press Conference Notes

Wasps Defence Coach Ian Costello spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 3pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

Saracens review

  • I think we got we deserved. We didn’t set the tone, there were a couple of mistakes that were within our own control. That lack of resilience defensively to cover up for those mistakes was disappointing which gave them the start it did.
  • We got back to 25-21 and we conceded two very poor penalties that took them beyond seven and an element of chasing the game when we didn’t need to. If you don’t manage the game well enough at those times it hurts you like it did on Saturday.
  • This week's review was mainly centred around defence. There were only a few positives to pick out of it like Tommy Taylor and Thibaud Flament. Thibaud displayed a really good hunger and appetite on his debut, leading the line in terms of linespeed and collisions.
  • I just think it highlighted if we’re not in the right place mentally and emotionally and we don’t do the basics well like getting off the line, communicating with each other and imposing pressure, things can snowball. That’s what happened at the weekend when we didn’t set the tone at the start.
  • What is hard to take is that it wasn’t reflective of how hard everybody worked over pre-season.
  • Last season we were a bottom-four side in terms of our defence at the start of the year but in the second-half of the year we were a operating in the top-four. We didn’t operate like that at the weekend and it was our first chance to put that out there so it was disappointing but we have to keep the confidence in what we’re doing and keep building.
  • Attack-wise though there were obviously quite a few positives.

Northampton preview

  • There was always going to be some rotation for this game.
  • Saints played an extra game the week before against Leinster Rugby where they played two different squads.
  • Whatever team that goes out it’ll be a different challenge to Saracens.
  • It’ll be really high-tempo rugby, ball-in-hand, offloading, a very high-intensity attacking game.
  • As we know from last year, they’ve got a number of really good young players who are a bit more established with a year under their belts and it’s a good challenge for us to try and bounce back.

Injury news

  • Ben Vellacott sustained a tear to his ACL at the Premiership 7s and is scheduled to have surgery this week. He is estimated to return in 6-7 months.
  • Will Porter picked up a hamstring tear and will be absent for approximately 6-8 weeks.
  • Will Rowlands sustained a calf muscle tear and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
  • Simon McIntyre has undergone surgery to his groin and is expected back in approximately 6 weeks.
  • Jimmy Gopperth picked up a shoulder injury against Saracens and is expected to be out for 6 weeks.
  • Kieran Brookes failed a HIA assessment at the weekend and is currently going through the return-to-play protocol.
  • Lima Sopoaga and Malakai Fekitoa are back in full training and should be in contention for the Sale Sharks match.

Wasps' next home game is v Worcester Warriors on Saturday 12 October. To get your hands on tickets, from just £10 for adults and FREE for under 10s, click the link below or calling 02476 786411.