4th Dec, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Blackett set to make "heavy" changes ahead of Saracens trip

LEE Blackett has confirmed he is set to make “heavy” changes to his squad ahead of Wasps trip to Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership this Sunday.

 

Wasps were edged out 27-23 by Exeter Chiefs in their last outing at the Coventry Building Society Arena in a bruising encounter.

 

And ahead of a tough run of fixtures that pits Wasps against Saracens, Bath and Harlequins, Blackett feels refreshing the squad is necessary given the clubs injury crisis.

 

Wasps added English duo Alex Gray and Tommy Matthews to their squad earlier today and Blackett is under no pretences as to the challenge facing his side in the capital.

 

Blackett said: “It [rotation] will be fairly heavy – it’s about trying to get as many points as we possibly can from the next three games.

 

“Sometimes people treat it as rotation – we just treat it as giving guys the opportunity to go out there who are fresh and really hungry.

 

“Saracens were very good, they were clinical but we always focus on ourselves and do what is best for us – we’ll focus on that.

 

“We know what a tough test it’s going to be – as long as we show the character and fight we showed last weekend we’ll be in with a great chance of winning.”

 

Despite suffering a narrow defeat to the Chiefs, Blackett was proud of his players and feels the club are heading in the right direction considering the number of first-team players still missing from the squad.

 

He said: “I was so awkward after the game because I was really proud but I didn’t want it to come across like a loser’s mentality.

 

“In terms of the character and the fight that we showed, I was really proud – our resilience was the thing I was most proud about.

 

“I’ve never seen a Wasps team come off the field having just lost receive such a passionate reception from the supporters.

 

“The effort deserved a win – that was only thing that frustrated me after the game – we know that if you want to fight at the right end of the table you have to win games.

 

“We gave too many penalties away, we put ourselves under too much pressure and we were camped on our line in the second-half.

 

Earlier this week, Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson was a surprise exclusion from the latest England squad for the upcoming Autumn internationals, however, Blackett is in no doubt as to Robson’s quality.

 

He stated: “I think he’s the best running nine in the Premiership.

 

“We’re quite reliant on Dan in terms of his running game, his decision making and upping the tempo of games – that’s his point of difference.

 

“His kicking game is right up there with the very best – I see him as a gamebreaker and someone who can make something happen out of nothing.

 

“I’m confident he’ll come through it – unfortunately he’s experienced when it comes to the highs and lows of the international scene – we know areas he needs to work on within his game.”

 

Wasps take on Saracens on Sunday, October 24 with kick-off at 3pm at the StoneX Stadium.

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