'It's been quite a road': Jersey star Le Bourgeois primed for Premiership final

Jersey-born Le Bourgeois joined Wasps from the Reds' championship rivals Bedford in 2018. Credit: PA

When Michael Le Bourgeois became Jersey Reds' first home-grown professional in 2011, English club rugby's biggest stage might have felt a long way away.

But nine years later, and after a five-year stint with Jersey's Championship rivals Bedford, the 30-year-old is in line to feature for Wasps in Saturday's Premiership final at Twickenham.

"It's been quite a road for myself", Le Bourgeois told ITV News.

"As a young player moving up through rugby and doing it because you love it, it's what you aim for, it's what your goal is, so to achieve it and be there at that final stage is pretty fantastic".

Le Bourgeois, who has been named among the replacements to face Exeter Chiefs this weekend, is following in the footsteps of fellow island star Matt Banahan, who played for Bath in the 2015 final.

"I remember watching him when I was coming up through the academy with Jersey", said Le Bourgeois - who was shortlisted for CI Sports Personality of the Year 2018.

"To see that people were actually leaving the island for rugby was a great nudge for myself to push it and believe that I could do it myself".

Former Bath star Matt Banahan is the last Jersey player to feature in a Premiership final in 2015. Credit: PA

Le Bourgeois, who joined Wasps in 2018, played a big role in their semi-final victory over Bristol Bears, coming on as a first-half injury replacement.

"I wasn't preparing to play more than 20 minutes really", he said, "but the injury gave me the opportunity to get off the bench and get a bit of game time, play some rugby, so I was very happy".

"The boys played fantastic in the semis, it was a great game to be involved in and I'm sure to watch".

An outbreak of Coronavirus in the Wasps camp had put the club's first final appearance since 2017, when they were beaten by Exeter, in jeopardy this week.

But the club were given the go ahead to take their place against the new European champions after the latest round of testing as they look to secure a first title in 12 years against the side who finished just three points ahead of them in the league table.

"They're on a different path - they're trying to exceed their expectations by doing the double, and we're doing our own thing".

"Going into it, I think it's pretty tight, we're probably the in-form team is what people say just by the way and the style we're playing, but everyone knows Exeter are where they are because of how they play and their structures so it'll be an exciting and interesting contest".

"I just want to enjoy it - you've come so far through the whole season, with Covid in the middle, so you've got to enjoy why you're doing it and just being out there with the lads that you've bonded with so much, especially over the past year itself".

"It will be a really great opportunity to just enjoy that", said Le Bourgeois.