First light. Sat 19th May. The dawn chorus greets the day. The question that has been on all the Wasps players and supporters mind for the past two weeks comes sharply into focus, the waiting is nearly over, can Wasps win?
Sleep? How can you before such an exciting day? The sun rises. The coffee whirrs and splutters. The question remains and gets larger. Can they beat Saracens? The task is immense. Billy is back for Saracens. His season has-been injury ravaged yet he always seem to be fit for the Wasps matches. Whenever plays he makes a huge difference as was the case at the Ricoh earlier this season when he almost single handedly won the match on his own. The man is a colossus, a giant amongst his fellow men. Put alongside his brother Mako and fellow England international Maro Itoje, George Kris and Jamie George they make up a hugely powerful forward pack which will take some stopping.
The Weetabix is crunchy, the milk is cold, with a fine sprinkling of sugar, the perfect combo to start such a big day. No surprises, there will be enough to come later or will there? The Saracens back line is functional, largely predictable and generally plays to a set plan. Wigglesworth kicks everything up in the air for the first hour which, to be fair, he is very good at, and Farrell is likely to do the same. Possession and territory secured, ramming the opposition into submission and then, and only then will they play with more expanse and unleash their backs. They have quality in the likes of former Wasp Lozowski and Maitland with their jewel in their crown, Alex Goode adding class and dancing feet from behind. Give him space and will run riot, as he did at the Ricoh earlier.
The Nespresso is Ristretto. Big boys coffee. Strong and unforgiving, as Wasps will need to be if they are to have any chance of winning. They will have to be at their resilient best and match fire with fire. Nathan is back, yet can he nullify Billy ? What a clash that makes for. Can young tyro Jack Willis perform on the biggest stage? How will the Wasps front five front up? Scary questions but these boys have big hearts and they haven’t come this far to cave in now. They must show spirit, passion and togetherness, like never before.
Hot toast, finger burning as it emerges from the toaster. Wasps will need to be hot as they enter the fray at Allianz Park. Hardly a cauldron but nevertheless unforgiving for those of delicate persuasion. To stand any chance Wasps will need to try and gain some form of parity up front to give a platform for their backs, arguably the most exciting and dangerous in the country. The back three of Le Roux, Wade and Daly ooze pace and class, and if Cipriani gets the time and space to create and his fellow half back, Robson can find some gaps around the fringes then, well who knows. However, they must take every opportunity they get and be absolutely ruthless. A fine dry day on a firm pitch will definitely help their cause.
So, the big question of the day remains, can Wasps win ? History says no, the bookmakers say no, the pundits say no but the Wasps players will have other ideas. By mid afternoon we will know the answer and it could be some adventure finding out. Bring it on.