The Offload chats to... Jimmy Gopperth

September 08, 2017

He was the standout performer in the 2016/17 Aviva Premiership, picking up the Golden Boot & Player of the Season awards, and Jimmy Gopperth has no intentions of taking his foot off the gas anytime soon.

Having come within minutes of Premiership glory, the Wasps playmaker is focused on helping his team go one step further this time around, as well as experiencing European success at the Ricoh. We recently caught up with the New Zealander to talk boots, the highs & lows of last season, and what we can expect to see from him & his team over the coming months.

What do you look for when you’re choosing a new pair of boots?

The boots must be comfortable, then it’s all about the feel. I like a good kicking area on the boot and they can’t be too heavy. Colour is also key as you should like how the boot looks.

How are you finding the new adidas Predator Control?

There have been mixed reviews on the new model, but I like them! They do take a little more time to wear in, but they have an excellent kicking area and give you great control.

The 2016/17 season was a special season for you, picking up a number of individual accolades at the end of the campaign. Can we expect to see more of the same from you this season?

It was a very special season for me individually, but there’s no way I could have achieved anything without the performances of my teammates at Wasps – it was a very enjoyable season.

“…we’re willing to work hard to give ourselves another opportunity.”

It was a tough ending to a fantastic year with Wasps last season, losing in extra-time in the Premiership final. Will that loss drive you to go one step further this season?

For sure! It was really gutting to be so close to glory, but we’ve had a taste of finals footy and are now willing to work hard to give ourselves another opportunity.

Which team do you think will be the surprise package of the 2017/18 season?

This year is going to be one of the toughest as all the teams have strengthened their squads well, so we will see a lot of upsets.

Wasps celebrate their 150th year this season. What’s your earliest Wasps memory?

Coming from New Zealand I hadn’t heard much of Wasps history, but I remember seeing the Heineken Cup final in 2004 and the try from Rob Howley that won it for them.

“…his natural Fijian flair is class and I’m not going to be the only player this year to fall for his dummy pass!”

There are a few new faces, as well as some great, young talent coming through at the club. Who should we look out for this season?

We have made some great signings and they have all made an impact at the club. I really like what Gaby Lovobalavu brings; his natural Fijian flair is class and I’m not going to be the only player this year to fall for his dummy pass!

You’ve played in the Premiership, PRO12 and Super Rugby. How do the three differ from each other?

The competitions are all different in their own way. It’s easy to see that Super Rugby is a very fast game, but that is helped a lot by the weather/pitches. I enjoyed the PRO12, every team is keen to play a very expansive game and all the teams blood a lot of young players throughout the season, so you get these young kids playing with no fear and just keen to play. The Premiership is the toughest competition in the world, the standard has improved so much over the past few years. Every week is a physical battle yet all the teams are now looking to play running rugby, which is awesome to be a part of.

We see that you enjoy a round of golf in your spare time. Other than yourself, who is the best golfer in the Wasps squad?

Since I don’t live by the sea, my passion for surfing has had to take a back seat, so golf is my new craze. We have a good group of golfers who are keen to play and we are all at a similar level which is great but, unfortunately for us players, our defence coach Phil Blake is the best but we are hunting him down.

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