Aviva Premiership: Wasps veteran Andy Goode excited for new season
Aviva Premiership: Andy Goode admits he is excited for the new season at London Wasps
Andy Goode has admitted he is excited for the new Aviva Premiership season as pre-season gets under way.
The 34-year-old London Wasps outside-half helped the former Heineken Cup champions finish the season strongly to set up and win a qualification play-off against Stade Français at the end of May to take the last place in the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup.
We want to continue the progress we made last season re-building the club and hopefully we will take it another step forward this year
After a holiday in Dubai and a visit to Las Vegas, Goode is enjoying the chance to get back to work.
“It’s great to come back and see the guys,” he told Wasps.co.uk. “When you finish the season on a high like we did last season with the win in Paris, the feel good factor is brilliant, especially knowing we’re back in the top tier of European rugby.
“Meeting some of the new signings and thinking of what they will add to the squad is also really exciting.
“Every year there’s a new buzz—this is my 17th pre-season now. I’m getting older by the day, but it’s still exciting.
“There’s obviously a little trepidation about what our head of strength and conditioning, Dan Baugh, has in store for us, but it’s all for a good cause.”
Under director of rugby Dai Young, Wasps have recruited heavily in recent months as the High Wycombe-based club look to continue their rise up the Premiership table with experienced Italian international tighthead Lorenzo Cittadini, Wales lock Bradley Davies and Samoan centre Alapati Leiua among the confirmed arrivals.
Goode also faces increased competition to keep his 10 jersey following the arrival of Scotland international Ruaridh Jackson from Glasgow Warriors and Rob Miller from Sale Sharks, but the former England international has already set his sights on making a return to HQ when the season begins in September.
“We want to continue the progress we made last season re-building the club and hopefully we will take it another step forward this year,” he added.
“We’re all looking forward to the [season-opening] ‘Double Header’ at Twickenham on 6 September.
“Last year was the first one I’d played in. I’d watched it for a few years when I was at Worcester and Brive and there was always a feeling of wanting to be involved. Playing at Twickenham is amazing.
“Obviously last year didn’t quite go my way with that last-minute kick that everyone kindly reminds me of, but as an opening to the season it’s a brilliant experience.
“After the success of the ‘Stinger’ at Twickenham in the spring, it will be great to go back there and hopefully give a repeat performance and get as many Wasps fans there as possible.”