SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Wasps in the mood to pull of shock against Exeter

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Depleted Wasps are in the mood to pull off a shock win against Exeter in the Premiership final

  • Wasps are in the mood for a shock win against Exeter in the Premiership final
  • The depleted side are the kind of team who cause favourites Exeter problems
  • Hungry Wasps are on a roll and are capable of unsettling consistent Chiefs 

It’s been the strangest, longest, rugby season ever and will finish in front of 82,000 empty seats at Twickenham but I firmly believe that it could end on a spectacular high with possibly a shock win for Wasps.

They fascinate me. I love watching them and speaking as someone who played centre I would have loved playing for them. They’re on a roll and remind me a little bit of Racing who, in the cold light of day, should probably have nicked it against Exeter in last week’s brilliant Champions Cup final.

If Wasps are at their best — and not too badly affected by their Covid outbreak — they are exactly the kind of side who can unsettle Exeter.

Wasps head into the Premiership final with the capability to unsettle Exeter and pull off a shock

They might not have the financial resources of Racing but they play with the same attacking panache and a little bit of X factor. Wasps don’t mind taking risks and accept that such an approach can backfire but they press on regardless. Their young English coach Lee Blackett has given them the freedom to enjoy themselves and they are on a roll.

Blackett’s natural sympathies are to optimise the potential of his back division and he has some seriously good players to work with.

I sense a huge amount of hunger in this Wasps side, possibly due to a sense of slightly unfulfilled careers. Joe Launchbury would be an automatic choice for most nations but he is never quite sure where he stands with England and Thomas Young is a brilliant flanker who has never been given a fair crack with Wales.

Wasps’ Thomas Young is a brilliant flanker who deserves his shot with the Wales national team

Exeter could find this game very testing indeed. Their Everest, if you like, was last Saturday and they needed all their qualities to prevail.

Peaking twice in back-to-back matches can be difficult as England found at the World Cup.

I don’t expect such a big drop off from the Chiefs whose consistency is phenomenal and they will always be very competitive even if they are not quite firing. They are a very difficult side to beat and will start as strong favourites tonight but if I were to name one team in the Premiership capable of doing just that in a one-off game it would be Wasps.

There is not expected to be any drop off from ever-consistent Exeter despite recent success

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