RUGBY UNION: FRIENDLY rivalry is brewing at a local rugby club as Wasps and Leicester Tigers prepare to do battle this weekend.
The M69 neighbours meet at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday (3pm), and some members of Hinckley Rugby Football Club’s squad are divided on who will triumph.
The club is half way between both Aviva Premiership clubs and is home to playing staff with connections to both the West and East Midlands sides.
Wasps currently have three players on loan with the National League 2 North outfit, including Connor Eastgate, Jacob Umaga and Ehize Ehizode.
The Wasps trio are coached by ex-Tigers scrum-half Darren Grewcock, who is now Hinckley RFC’s technical advisor and assists the club’s Director of Rugby Paul Walsh.
Wasps and Tigers head into the clash in the upper reaches of the Aviva Premiership table and Wasps’ Senior Academy fly half Connor Eastgate, who made his Wasps first team debut earlier this year, is hoping his parent club can come out on top.
The 19-year-old said: “As I understand it, if you live in Hinckley you’re either a Tigers’ fan or a Wasps’ fan, and it’s the game that’s on everybody’s lips at the minute.
“A lot of the lads at Hinckley are going to the game, including Darren who likes to chip in with a few tongue-in-cheek comments about how there’s only one team in the Midlands, so a win for Wasps would do quite nicely.”
Darren Grewcock played as scrum-half for Tigers in the 1990s and believes the rivalry is great for rugby in the area.
Darren, who also lives in Hinckley, added: “There’s always been a rivalry between the two teams in the league, but Wasps’ move to the West Midlands has taken it up a notch.
“Wasps got a great result at Welford Road at the start of the season and I’m sure the boys will want to put that right at the Ricoh Arena to reinstate themselves as the number one team in the Midlands.”