Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has warned there will be a ‘fair bit’ of rotation to his squad heading into Saturday’s trip to Saracens.
The 27-23 victory at Bath in round 17 thrust the Black and Golds back into the top four with five rounds remaining, starting at the home of the reigning champions.
But it was a win that came at a cost with Wasps losing Thomas Young, Tommy Taylor, Gabriel Oghre and Lima Sopoaga to injuries while many influential players, including player of the round Jack Willis, playing the full 80 minutes at The Rec.
With Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears heading to the Ricoh Arena next week on Wednesday and Sunday respectively, the strength of Wasps’ squad will be tested to its limits as they bid to claim a place in the end-of-season play-offs for the fourth time in five seasons.
“There’s likely to be a fair bit,” said Blackett on the likelihood of rotation. “We obviously went six days into the Bath game with a similar team to what we played against Sale and obviously backing that up into a five-day, so we will make some changes, use the squad again.
“We’ve said we’re going to have to use the squad in this period and obviously we’ve got games coming thick and fast straight after that we’ve got Leicester and Bristol.”
The victory in Somerset was Wasps’ third in four games since the Gallagher Premiership restart and sixth in seven games stretching back to mid-February. It was a win that Joe Launchbury say it was one of his most cherished from 148 club appearances.
Blackett, who echoed his captain’s sentiments in his post-match comments, revealed the extent to which Wasps had to dig deeper than normal despite going to uncontested scrums for more than half of the encounter.
“I think you’ll find when you’re in these environments, especially after a victory everyone comes in buoyant and a confident mood and ready to go again,” he said. “The one thing that probably stands out there was probably 20-30 percent on average more running in that game because there wasn’t the scrum so actually it’s taken quite a lot out of the body in terms of that.
“Probably the props are happier, or they might feel different anyway. I don’t know if they’re happier about running 20-30 per cent more though. But they’re pleased, probably they’re really motivated around the place but I would say that definitely that game it was a tough, physical game, with up to 30 per cent more running in it as well.”
Wasps have eased their issues at hooker following the injuries suffered to Young and Oghre by re-signing TJ Harris from Jersey Reds on a short-term loan. The 26-year-old is likely to feature in Saturday’s game.