Stinging Saracens would be the perfect way to kick off Wasps pursuit of Allianz Premier 15s perfection, reckons coach Laura-Jane Lewis.

Wasps host Saracens – last season’s runners-up – in the capital on Saturday bidding to bounce back from last term’s semi-final heartbreak.

Giselle Mather’s side went down 25-14 against eventual champions Harlequins after a third-place finish in the hotly-contested table.

Sarries topped the table – eight points ahead of Wasps – before losing last year’s final and coach Lewis, who joined the club in 2019, is relishing the prospect of a physical first day duel.

She said: “I think for us it’s a really good way for us to start our season.

“There’s nothing that tells you where you’re at like playing another top-four team.

“The disappointment of our semi-final means that for us to get a really good team to play at the start of the season is going to be really key in helping us put in a really good performance out on the field.

“We’ve talked a lot about belief and I think we are in a really great place to show that we believe in our performances so we’re going to embrace it, enjoy the physical battle and show that we’re ready to compete in that top four again.

“It’s been a little bit different this pre-season because we didn’t have our England players for the whole of July because they were in a camp, and also our Irish players have been in and out of Ireland.

“Now that everyone’s back together, we’ve had a little pre-season tour, we went over to Exeter and then we played them and it went really well so we really are in a great place to get the season going. We’re really excited.”

The Allianz Premier 15s is the elite women’s domestic rugby union competition in England and having been won by high-flying Harlequins last season, continues to grow year on year.

The Premier 15s will once again be played over 18 rounds, culminating with play-offs (21 May 2022) and a title final (4 June 2022, venue TBC).  

With no promotion or relegation, there are no changes to the 10 teams within England’s top-flight of women’s domestic rugby, operating in a league format with home and away fixtures. 

Ealing Times: The Allianz Premier 15s is the elite women’s domestic rugby union competition in England and continues to grow year on yearThe Allianz Premier 15s is the elite women’s domestic rugby union competition in England and continues to grow year on year

Fans will flock to the Twyford Avenue Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon as Alex Austerberry’s Sarries bid to crash Wasps’ opening day party.

The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the women’s domestic game but Lewis hopes the return of capacity crowds can propel the sports to new heights.

She added: “I think it’s really important for the game globally – being able to have fans will definitely inspire that next generation of players coming through.

“From our perspective on game day, it’s great that our families can be there and support our players and our staff, but also we’ve got a fan base quite local to us that want to be at the club and support our players.

“It’s just a really great feeling at home seeing your family, the supporters and I think it just gives you a bit more of an edge.”

The Allianz Premier 15s is the top-flight women’s domestic rugby union competition in England. For all the latest news from the Allianz Premier 15s, you can follow @Premier15s on Twitter and Instagram. You can also watch live action on throughout the 2021/22 campaign.