A Wasps-mad Coventry family rounded off their summer by getting up close to some of their rugby heroes – in their own back yard.
Ian Powell welcomed Wasps first-teamers and brothers Jack and Tom Willis to his home on the outskirts of the city, much to the delight of his son Noah and father-in-law Alan Cullinane.
The Willis brothers turned up to deliver the trio’s season memberships for the 2019/20 season, which kicks off against Saracens at Ricoh Arena on Saturday 21 September in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
“The visit lasted for about an hour and was just a surreal experience and a rugby fan’s dream,” said Ian, who is part of a larger group of nine season membership holders at Ricoh Arena.
“They were telling us how their pre-season schedule was going and we soon got on to who we thought would win the World Cup – England and South Africa were on most people’s lips!
“Both players also took a real interest in Noah’s awards that he had achieved while playing as a prop forward for Barkers Butts. Afterwards they spared some time to play catching games with him in the back garden as both of them revealed that was a favourite pastime of theirs when they were younger.
“The overall highlight of the visit was seeing Noah’s face light up when speaking to the players – he gained a lot out of advice out of the the visit that will hopefully help him with his rugby games at the weekends.”
The visit marked the start of what he hopes will be a season to remember for the Black and Golds.
“I’d love for us to win a cup,” added Ian.
“We’ve made some powerful signings and I’m especially looking forward to seeing Malakai Fekitoa and Jeff Toomaga-Allen in action.”
The Willis brothers took time out from their pre-season schedules ahead of the first-team’s opening Gallagher Premiership game of the season against London Irish at Ricoh Arena on Saturday 20 October.
Jack said: “Me and my brother were once in Noah’s shoes playing for our local rugby team, and it was really rewarding for us to feel like we’d made a difference by offering him some pointers on playing as a prop that will hopefully stick with him when he’s out on the rugby pitch.
“It’s always a pleasure to be given opportunities to meet the supporters and give something back to the great support that they show us, and we can’t wait for the season to get started now.”
Tickets to Wasps’ Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens are available from just £10 for adults and FREE for under 10s, while adults can enjoy both home Cup games versus Saracens and Worcester Warriors for just £15 for adults and £7.50 for students! Click here or call 02476 786411 to book your tickets.