Retiring Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio is ready for the last great challenge of his career in tomorrow’s Guinness Premiership final with rivals Leicester and predicted: "It will be very tasty."
Dallaglio, a one-club man throughout an 18-year career which spanned the amateur and professional era, will lead Wasps for the final time at Twickenham.
Although he is an emotional man, Dallaglio is driven by a desire for silverware not sentimentality and he is relishing the chance to inflict more final misery on the Tigers.
Wasps have had the edge over Leicester in recent years, spoiling Martin Johnson’s retirement party to win the 2005 Premiership title and wrecking the Tigers’ treble ambitions last season by winning the Heineken Cup final.
Leicester reaped a modicum of revenge in this year’s EDF Energy Cup semi-final and there is nothing they would like more than to deny Dallaglio the chance to walk off into retirement with a fifth Premiership winner’s medal around his neck.
“I am sure it will be a very tasty match,” said Dallaglio. “In rugby union this is the rivalry. Nine titles between us and four Heineken Cups in the last 10 years – I think that says it all.
“Whatever we do we seem to come up against each other all the time. We know what to expect.
“They’re the champions, we’re the challengers. It will be a Test match in everything but name and it’s going to be a massive challenge.
“But we are bang up for it. Myself and my team have been in this situation many times before and we understand how to prepare for a big occasion.
“We’ll be trying to win a trophy we haven’t won for a little while now.”
Dallaglio made his first appearance for Wasps in 1990 and over 18 years has won four league titles, two Heineken Cups and three domestic cups, not to mention his international honours with England and the Lions.