HEREFORD’S Guy Thompson will be getting out his atlas after helping London Wasps into the Champions Cup next season.
Thompson has just signed a new deal at Wasps and gave the best performance of his career to guide the club to a memorable victory at Stade Francais in the second leg of the Champions Cup play-off.
He scored a vital try for Wasps after 61 minutes and took the man-of-the-match plaudits on a glorious day in Paris.
“European rugby is fast and open and French teams play an expansive way - and it helps the way I play,” said Thompson.
“I popped a rib in the second half of the match and I was having treatment when the final whistle went so it probably put a dampener on things a bit.”
Thompson helped Wasps to a 20-6 away win to seal an aggregate 50-35 success for the London club.
“A lot of people outside the camp doubted we would win the play-off because we went into the second leg with only a one-point lead,” said Thompson.
“We were confident we had the players capable of winning the match and all our players were buzzing going into the match. It was a very special occasion.”
Thompson, a former Hereford player, said he was pleased to get the better of Italian star Parisse, the Stade Francis skipper, to score his try.
“I got the try which gave us a two-score advantage. I picked up the ball at the base of a scrum and handed-off Parisse and later finished off the move.”
“The win gives us a chance to play in the new version of the Heineken Cup and it’s the first time in five years that Wasps will be playing in rugby union’s elite rugby union tournament.”
The back-row star is back home in Hereford and will be returning to Wasps for pre-season training at the end of this month.
“I played 25 games for Wasps during the season and scored 10 tries,” said Thompson, a former Jersey player.
“My mum came to a lot of my games with my friend, Rauri Wargent, who both enjoy their rugby.
“Wasps nearly got relegated last year and we all wanted to put the club back in Europe.”
Meanwhile, another Hereford rugby player, Nick Scott, was expected to be in action for London Welsh last night (Wednesday) against Bristol in the second leg of the Championship final.
Scott scored a first-half try for the Exiles in last week’s 27-8 home victory over Bristol in the first leg of the play-off final.