Danny Cipriani dampens expectations at big-spending Wasps
Danny Cipriani admits it is unlikely Wasps will be able to overhaul Aviva Premiership champions Saracens this season, instead choosing to focus on a regular slot in the play-offs.
The Coventry-based club have been the league's biggest spenders this summer with Cipriani among a host of high-profile arrivals that also includes Kurtley Beale and Kyle Eastmond.
Director of rugby Dai Young has sought to dampen expectations by insisting it will take time for the new arrivals to bed in and Cipriani, who starts at fly-half against Exeter on Sunday, accepts double winners Saracens remain in the driving seat.
"Saracens have a head start in terms of where they are at. Over the last few years they have been able to bring people into a system that they know works," he said.
"Whether people agree (with) how Saracens play, they are winners. I'm pretty sure they're happy at being called pragmatic when they have winners' medals around their necks.
"With so many new players coming into Wasps, for us it will be a process that happens over the course of the season.
"We may come flying out of the traps, or we could have a period where we will have to learn. On paper we have the talent, it's about making sure we have the right structure.
"The next couple of years are about really cementing that top four spot."
Exeter were the closest challengers to Saracens last season, but they were still demolished in the Premiership final at Twickenham in May.
"Exeter will be very difficult because they bring a lot of intensity in defence and their attack is exceptional, especially when they get into the 22," Cipriani said.
"We know that any small slip-ups will be punished by them, so we have to take our attack to them and stay disciplined in what we do."