Club legend Lawrence Dallaglio believes Wasps must prove they are not a soft touch if they are to ward off the chasing pack and compete for a top-four finish.
When the Gallagher Premiership season was paused in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wasps’ hat-trick of bonus point wins moved them to within two points of fourth-placed Northampton Saints – their opponents on Sunday afternoon.
Dallaglio claimed five Premiership wins in his glittering 15-year, including the club’s most recent piece of silverware – the 2007/8 league title in his final outing in Black and Gold.
The 2003 World Cup winner remains a director at the club as well as working as a pundit for BT Sport and as a columnist for the Sunday Times. He also hosts the publication’s popular The Ruck podcast, and in an episode that went live on Thursday, he gave his thoughts on Wasps’ hopes for the remainder of the season.
“I think Wasps, and I am not being critical here, but if you’re going to do anything in the Premiership, you’ve got to have a hard physical edge up front,” said the 85-times capped back row.
“That’s my view anyway. It hasn’t changed now and it was exactly the same ten years ago and ten years before that. I’ve always questioned with Wasps, they’ve got a lot of players who can play football really, really well, both in the pack and behind, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, particularly against the big boys, can they get down and dirty and for me they’ve always been a bit of a soft touch for the past few years.
“So I think they need to show, under (head coach) Lee Blackett, that they’re not a soft touch, that they’re not going to be bullied, and if they can do that, with Jacob Umaga and Dan Robson and some of the talent they’ve got behind the scrum, undoubtedly they can cause teams problems.
“If they finish the season roughly where they are, maybe pushing the play-offs, that would be a fair representation of where Wasps are at, at the moment, but I do feel there are teams just below Wasps that could end up catching them on the rails.”
To listen to the podcast in full, click here.