Lawrence Dallagio and Martin Johnson share some pretty special memories. Be it in Lions or England shirts, together they’ve conquered pretty much every peak that rugby union has to offer and along they way they have both thrown themselves into every single physical encounter with a ferocity that forever lingers on the edge of criminality. If you managed to sneek a close look at their wallets, the words ‘bad muthafu*ka’ would most definitely be imprinted on them both.
Tomorrow , they face each other for the last time, because whereas Lol has a Lions tour to look forward to, Jonno has decided to pack it all in and finally plonk those giganto-feet of his on the end of his reclining armchair.
A bumper crowd at HQ will enjoy what should prove to be an absolute corker of a match, with Wasps and the Tigers providing a climax to this season’s series of titanic encounters. The question is, can Wasps buck the trend and actually win one? Their fans will shout ‘YES’ (and maybe shake one of those annoying bells that are all the rage at the Causeway Stadium) and point to the fact that their team are past-masters at finding their top form in the run-in to the Premiership semis and final, as well as the news that Leicester will be without game-breakers Rowntree and Moody. That’s as maybe, but without a specialist open-side flanker (Johnny O’Connor and Tom Rees both being injured), Wasps are going to struggle to get their hands on the ball, especially against another Leicester player making his final appearence on English soil, one Neil Back.
Leicester to win then, just, which would be a flat ending to the Warren Gatland era. Shame, but Wasps shouldn’t worry, they’ll be back on top next season, once Fraser Waters and Stuart Abbot have returned from injury and new coach Ian McGeechan has arrived. Who’s going to stop them? A Lecister Tigers without Martin Johnson? Just look at what happened to England since he left.
What is a shame is that the club have shelved plans to return to Loftus Road and are instead looking to make High Wycombe their permanent home . So will that mean that the’re going to have to think about removing the word ‘London’ from their name next season? We shall see.