MILTON Keynes rugby player Jack Wallace insists he has former Scotland international Hugo Southwell in his sights as he looks to crack the Wasps first team next season.
The 21-year-old full-back was part of the Wasps team which was well-beaten in the opening round of the J.P.Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series at the Stoop on Friday, with Saracens and London Irish progressing to the finals in Bath.
But despite that disappointment, Wallace is relishing the start of the new Aviva Premiership season when he will aim to improve on seven league appearances last term.
He said: “After last season we’ve got to get a foot in the door so hopefully we can bounce back from this in the first game of the season against champions Harlequins.
“I feel good personally. Pre-season has been good, I’m feeling sharp and fit. I filled in at fly-half in the Sevens so it’s hard to show a clean pair of heels, but you adapt to different roles at different times as you find yourself at different stages of the pitch, I wanted to show my wheels but it didn’t work out like that.
“My aim this year is to get a good run of games in the first team. I had a few last year and this year there is Hugo Southwell in front of me. But it would be good to get a few more and I’m positive for the way this season’s looking.
“Primarily I want to play full-back but playing at centre could be a possibility. You’ve got to take the season week by week and if the opportunity pops up then I could be in there.”
A young Wasps outfit found life tough at the Stoop as they faced much stronger sides from Sarries, Quins and Irish. An opening 17-12 defeat was perhaps a little harsh on them, with guest pair Derek Asbun and Sean Morris grabbing the tries for Wasps.
But after that the youngsters were overwhelmed, with a 46-7 defeat to London Irish followed by a 35-0 drubbing against hosts Quins.
Wallace added: “There’s not really much you can enjoy about a 46-7 defeat. But you have got to take defeats like this on the chin, every man has got to take responsibility.
“We really wanted to step up in the final game but Quins are a good team and were too strong for us. We’ve come out here we’ve put out a good side, regardless of whichever lads are carrying injuries or whichever lads aren’t.
“We had to come out here and play and perform to kick start the season, but we just need to forget about it now and kick on.”
Wallace is one of two Milton Keynes players set to feature in the Aviva Premiership next season, with Edd Slater playing for Leicester Tigers. The 23-year-old was recently called up to the England Saxons squad and claimed his first cap against Scotland A.
To buy tickets for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series visit: www.jpmorgan7s.com or call 08448 472 492