Watson waiting in the wings
Date: 7 Sep 2017
As the side prepare for Sunday’s trip to Sixways, Marcus Watson says he is loving the dynamic of the group after his first competitive appearance in black and gold last weekend.
Having featured in both the club's pre-season games, as well as the Singha Premiership 7s, Watson made his first competitive appearance for Wasps last weekend as the men in black and gold put fifty points past Sale Sharks at the Ricoh Arena, to secure a bonus-point win on the opening weekend of the Aviva Premiership.
Off the bench in the 66th minute of the match, Watson said that all the hard work of pre-season had been building up to that moment.
“I’ve been looking forward to that first run out for a while now. Playing in those first two pre-season games was really good, getting a run and getting used to how we play, but now that the season has started it’s all about getting as much game time as I can, keep improving, getting really settled in this group and hopefully getting a few tries under my belt.
“In the first game we scored fifty points, it’s pretty impressive! I think the only game I’ve played in the fifteen-a-side game where we've scored fifty points was against the Russian side in the European Challenge Cup with Newcastle. The more I can play in a team like that, the better, and hopefully I can get on the end of things and create some stuff for other people.
“It’s a bit different to Newcastle in terms of the style of play. I loved my time at Newcastle and there was an emphasis there on playing a good brand of rugby, but just seeing the playmakers that we have at Wasps, the amount of space they create for the outside backs is incredible.
"All wingers like to beat people one-on-one, Wadey is exceptional the way he does that and creates things for himself, but with some of the playmakers we have here you don’t even have to do that, they put you in so much space. If they can create that kind of space then it’s up to me to finish the job.”
Watson's addition over the summer, adds to a group of talented wingers at the club, with Christian Wade and Josh Bassett the incumbents, as well as the likes of Willie Le Roux, Elliot Daly, Guy Armitage and Gaby Lovobalavu able to cover the wing.
“There’s two very good players currently in place who have worked for their spots on the wings and I’m happy to work hard to provide them with a bit of pressure and I’m looking forward to the competition. I think that healthy competition is always good; all of us want to start so it’s all about who performs the best when we get out there.
“I’ve played with Wadey since we were fifteen, I was left wing and he was right, so I know the way he plays and he’s always naturally been pretty special. That hasn’t changed since we were younger but his work-rate and understanding has definitely come on since then and you can see that he has worked hard at that.
“Bass is a different sort of player; his work rate is exceptional. I’ve been speaking to him a lot about when to come off your wing and how to get more involvements because he is very good at that. He’s big and strong and remarkably very quick, which surprised me. I always knew he was fast but it’s only from playing with him I’ve realised just how quick he is!
“They are two pretty special wingers, both of them are very different players and I like to think that I add something different to that group as well, with a bit of speed and footwork and the option to play fullback.”
This weekend Wasps will make the short journey to Worcester, looking to back up their opening-weekend win with another against the Warriors at Sixways. Ahead of the round two fixture, Watson warned that it will be a tough challenge as Wasps take on a side who will be desperate for a response to their loss against his old club Newcastle last weekend.
“It’s one of those games this Sunday; this is probably the worst time to play a side after they’ve just been beaten by a rival away from home pretty convincingly. They lost up at Newcastle, Gary Gold was obviously not very happy after that, and they’ve had a nine-day turnaround to put things right and get themselves fired up for this Sunday’s game back at Sixways.
“They had a pretty good home record last year so we know it’s going to be a difficult game waiting for us. It’s going to be tough against them but it doesn’t really change how we approach a game, we want to play the way we want to play and we have to focus on doing that as well as we can.”
Following this Sunday's trip to Sixways, Wasps then return home to the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, September 17 (KO 3pm) against Harlequins. Tickets for the game can be purchased from www.wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £18 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain categories.
Emergency services personnel can claim their free ticket to the game by visiting www.wasps.co.uk/news/article/2017/08/10/free-ticket-to-wasps-v-harlequins-for-emergency-services-employees - emergency services staff can also purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate using a discount code available from their local representatives.