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Bell: Momentum is everything

Wasps captain Chris Bell has underlined the importance of establishing momentum as this season's Aviva Premiership gathers pace.

Successive victories over Leicester and Gloucester have left Wasps in good shape for their Adams Park appointment with play-off contenders Bath on Sunday.

And qualification for top-flight European competition next term - whatever format that might take - is top of Bell's agenda.

"Having sat down and watched the Heineken Cup this season - and knowing there will be some format of it next season - they are the competitions you want to be playing in," he said.

"But first and foremost, you have to be in the top six. If you can be in or around that area and then string a run of games together, you can then make it into the top four.

"Every player in the league wants to play in the Heineken Cup. You want to play against the likes of Munster, Leinster and Toulouse - those are the games that you are striving for - so it's up to us to get in that position.

"It is all about momentum. The more you can create, the higher up the league you will climb. We set ourselves individual and collective targets each week, and we are constantly trying to achieve those."

On the selection front, Wasps wing Christian Wade has not yet recovered from a hamstring strain, so Jonah Holmes retains his place this weekend, while England forward Joe Launchbury is on the bench following his try-scoring display against New Zealand last Saturday.

Bath show three changes from the team that comfortably beat LV= Cup opponents Exeter last weekend.

England prop David Wilson returns to the front row, with scrum-half Peter Stringer replacing Martin Roberts and Semesa Rokoduguni featuring on the wing, but Bath are again without South African flanker Francois Louw due to Test commitments.

The west country club have lost just two league games this season, with five victories underpinning their climb into third position.

Bath are also unbeaten in the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup competitions, underlining how tough a task Wasps face in pursuit of Premiership points this weekend.

"The league table will show that Bath are one of the real threats this season," Wasps rugby director David Young said.

"They recruited very strongly over the summer to add to an already formidable squad.

"They will come to us with a set-piece that is going really well for them, a strong kicking game and some very dangerous backs, so we have a big task on our hands."


From Belfast Telegraph