Wasps utility back Kurtley Beale is relishing the prospect of playing his final game at the Ricoh Arena when they host Leicester there in their Premiership semi-final on Saturday.
Since his debut for Wasps in December, Beale has gone from strength-to-strength in black and gold and, as he prepares for his last outing at the Ricoh Arena this weekend, he says he can’t wait for what is set up to be a huge clash.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far," he told Wasps' official website.
"The lads here have been brilliant, they helped me get settled in and I’ve built some really special friendships over the past eight months. I’ve been very lucky to play here and I’m just looking forward to finishing strong and giving my all for the club, because they’ve helped me so much since I’ve been here.
"We’re all obviously really excited. This time of the season is always very exciting and this is when, as a squad, we really have to step up. It’s going to be a tough game for us against Leicester, it’s always a big derby match and with it being semi final rugby, both teams are going to be ready to play.
"I've loved playing at the Ricoh Arena, our crowd has been amazing all year and it definitely helps us out when we need it. We’re all just looking forward to it, we’ve had a week off from playing, good preparation and we all can’t wait for it now.
"That week off has given us the time to rest up and to work on some of the things that we needed to build on from the Saracens game. It’s helped us get into a good mind frame to attack this week. Everyone’s been keen to rip into training this week and it’s exciting for us to still be going at this stage of the season.
"“When it’s a packed house, it’s the best atmosphere to play in so it’s a massive boost and there’s no doubt that it’s going to help us in the crucial moments. As a player, you always want to play in front of a big crowd and as part of this team we’re very lucky to have that support, especially at the Ricoh. Over the course of the year we’ve really made the Ricoh a tough place to play and that has to continue this weekend."
Wasps face Leicester Tigers on Saturday with the opportunity to progress to the final of the competition for the first time in nine years and Beale says the team know they have to step up if they are to achieve that dream.
"We’ve beaten Leicester in the regular season but in finals’ football any team can win on any given day," he added.
"It’s important that we understand and respect Leicester but we got to this stage in the competition by playing to our identity, playing Wasps’ rugby so it’s important that we have faith, the confidence and belief in our game to be able to go out there and produce another top performance.
"We’ve got a lot of respect for Leicester and we know how dangerous they can be. No doubt they’ll have the same respect for us, so it’s going to be a cracking game with both sides giving everything to reach the Final next week."