Wasps’ squad progression over the last few years has been demonstrated this season through some emphatic performances in the European Champions Cup and a run of form in the Aviva Premiership that is seeing them in serious contention to challenge for the title.
This coming of age from their young squad was epitomised during two stellar showings at home that left Leinster and Toulon in their wake towards the end of 2015. Toulon and Leinster, both European powerhouses, were made to look utterly clueless in their 32-6 and 51-10 defeats that set the pace for a Wasps side who have looked impregnable at the Ricoh Arena this season.
The wins have sparked belief in the team and a return to their glory days of the mid 2000s is on the horizon, and as it stands so far this season in the Premiership and Champions Cup, you wouldn’t put it past them to upset the odds and win one of the competitions.
It is of course important to remember Wasps have failed to win any silverware since the 2007/08 season, where they beat Leicester Tigers 26-16 to win what was the Guinness Premiership, but as the season goes on and the belief in the squad grows you feel yourself almost willing them on.
Wasps have a surprisingly low amount of regular internationals in their squad, with just Joe Launchbury and James Haskell, who featured in last year’s World Cup, but I feel this factor played to their advantage.
Arguably the likes of Elliot Daly and Christian Wade should have been involved in the World Cup squad given their finish to last season, but it wasn’t to be and it allowed Wasps to build up to the new season relatively unscathed in terms of player absences and establish a core that has been so reliable throughout the season.
This year’s Six Nations saw the likes of Elliot Daly and Matt Mullan added to the Wasps contingent, and I am sure that more players will join them in the squad to face Australia in June following their successful campaign, with the most likely candidate being Christian Wade.
Wade’s record equalling six try haul against Worcester on the weekend will have surely made it onto Eddie Jones’ radar and what better opportunity for him to display his proven finishing ability than on the big stage down under. Either way, Dai Young must be relishing what lays ahead for this Wasps side and with the likes of Danny Cipriani joining at the end of the season the future looks very bright for them.
Focusing on this season, however, the climax will undoubtedly become more of a psychological battle as opposed to what Dai Young’s talented group of players have to offer; they’ve more than proved what a capable team they are, sitting in a position to challenge for both the Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup, but this final month will make for interesting viewing whatever the outcome.
The most important thing, for Wasps fans and England fans alike, is that they are now a team who can genuinely stake a claim to winning silverware and are producing a wealth of talented youngsters who are paving the way for future success at Wasps and with the national side.