It’s a big year for us – Gopperth

Date published: October 14 2015

New Wasps fly-half Jimmy Gopperth cannot wait for the Premiership season to kick-off when they take on Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop.

Having snuck into the European Champions Cup two seasons ago after finishing in seventh place domestically, Wasps qualified outright last season in sixth place and Dai Young's men now have continued improvement firmly in their sights.

Young has added a number of players with the talent and experience that could help his squad achieve their goal, with Gopperth among the list of new recruits.

And the fly-half says the squad are desperate to get out there and make what they've been working so hard on during pre-season a reality.

"We've had a very long pre-season, so everyone's mad keen to get it going and get out there in the first competitive game. What a one to have first up – Quins at The Stoop. It's going to be a great game and one we're all looking forward to," he said.

"I've watched a number of the Wasps against Quins games in the last few seasons and there are two teams who like to attack, both going for it. I enjoy playing at The Stoop and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to play there for Wasps and the first game should be a great occasion. We're all pumped to get out there and play.

"We're on the start of a journey here as a squad and as a club as a whole; it's a big year for us ahead. It's been such a long pre-season, everyone 's been waiting and waiting, itching to start. We've had some good hit-outs, we've really enjoyed some of the warm-up games we've played, but we're all just really excited to get out there and put in a good team performance. If we do that the result should take care of itself.

"The last couple of years the boys here have set the benchmark for this club. They sneaked into Europe the year before last, then last year was outright qualification and that's now our benchmark.

"Through the season you have to look to improve every single game, so our aim this year has to be an improvement on the last season. Especially in a grueling season like this one; 28 games on the bounce, it's going to be a long season. We have to take it game-by-game and give ourselves the best opportunity to be in contention in the top six and hopefully to push on."

Wasps are set to enjoy a full season at their new home, the Ricoh Arena, and Gopperth is familiar with the Coventry-based ground having played there against Wasps for Leinster last season, as well as featuring in pre-season fixtures against Samoa and Northampton already this year. 

"The Ricoh Arena is awesome. It's such an amazing facility, the crowd have really bought into the Wasps factor up in Coventry. You get massive crowds, the atmosphere's pumping and it's a great occasion," he said.

"When you get a facility like the Ricoh Arena, which can cater and entertain everyone, it's so enjoyable to play at. Every game feels like the biggest game of your life, it really gets you going with the atmosphere and we're all really looking forward to that first home game against Bath.

"Obviously first up is Quins (away) this Friday and we have to make sure we do the job. We all can't wait to get going, we need to channel that and focus on playing the rugby we want to play."