Wasps set for JP Morgan Sevens opener
11:50am Friday 13th July 2012 in Wasps
WITH a little bit of advice from his grandfather and former England international Ted, Wasps’ Jack Wallace believes he can lead his club to glory in this year’s JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
Wallace, 21, a former RGS High Wycombe pupil, will make his third appearance at the 7s tournament in Wasps colours tonight at the Twickenham Stoop, possibly as captain again.
Under full-back Wallace’s guidance in 2011, Wasps qualified for the final round before being beaten by eventual champions Newcastle.
He said: “We got through the first round last year and that was a good achievement, but I think we have got the talent to play for silverware this year.
“It’s not a run around for us, we take it seriously and it’s crucial we do to really give the club a good start to the season.
“Other clubs have got strong sides but we’ve had a good pre-season and we’re raring to go.
“We’ve been trying out a few things in attack in the backs but it’s going to be really important, crucial actually, for the backs to be strong in defence.”
And having a former international in the family helps too.
Wallace said: “My grandfather comes along and supports us and he’s always got a bit of advice as well. When he was playing for England he was working as a butcher and travelled down on the train after work to play.
“I think he’s surprised at how the game has changed, but he offers me advice which is always useful.”
Wallace turned out seven times in the Premiership last year as Wasps exacted revenge on Newcastle for defeat in the 7s by condemning them to relegation on the last day of the season.
In doing so Wasps ensured their survival by one league point and Wallace is determined for his club not to be involved in such a close shave this year.
He said: “We didn’t have a great season as a club last year and it was a bit of a disappointment. But the 7s is a great marker to set the season off in a good way.
“If we really make a challenge it will give us a kick start to the season.
“If you’re going to play in the Premiership with the first team you’ve got to have a voice and captaincy has been really good for me on that.
“But the whole team’s got big pressure on them to fight for spots in the 15s team this season.
“Personally, I think I did ok when I played for the first team and if I can bring what I brought to the table last year at the 7s maybe I can press again for the first fifteen.”
The J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off tonight at Harlequins, with rounds at Sale Sharks and Gloucester, and the final at Bath Rugby.
Go to www.jpmorgan7s.com