Wasps name team for Twickenham
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to face Saracens at Twickenham this Saturday in the first game of the London Double Header (KO 2pm).
The squad contains six new signings set to make their Aviva Premiership debut for Wasps this weekend, while there is also a welcome return to fitness of Christian Wade after a nine month lay-off.
The starting XV is balanced with tried and tested combinations alongside four new recruits, with competition for places heating up this season.
Young said: “Hopefully this is a sign of things to come in terms of selection meetings becoming longer and decisions becoming harder. I haven’t had that type of challenge too often since I’ve been here and it’s a very healthy headache to have. There are very few automatic choices now.
“I feel we now have enough strength in depth in most areas to very be competitive and have real pressure on positions. It also gives us the opportunity to rotate and rest players when we need to.
“There are still a couple of players in rehab and a few players coming back who could force their way into the team when they’ve had some more game time.
“Our squad has plenty of pace and flair as well as physicality. We have good ball-carrying ability up front to create a bit of space and hopefully then enough gas and quality to finish things off.
“We are under no illusion about the size of the challenge ahead of us at Twickenham. Saracens are the team to beat. It’s a cliché, but any day you play Saracens you have to play your best rugby if you are to get the result.
“They’ve been a quality team for a number of years, they know how to win consistently. We are playing one of the best teams in Europe and we are excited about the challenge and looking forward to the big occasion at Twickenham in front of thousands of fans.”
Wasps Team to face Saracens
15. Rob Miller * 14. Christian Wade 13. Elliot Daly 12. Chris Bell 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau * 10. Andy Goode 9. Joe Simpson 1. Matt Mullan 2. Carlo Festuccia 3. Lorenzo Cittadini * 4. Joe Launchbury 5. James Gaskell * 6. Ashley Johnson 7. James Haskell © 8. Nathan Hughes 16. Tom Lindsay 17. John Yapp * 18. Phil Swainston 19. Kearnan Myall 20. Guy Thompson 21. Charlie Davies 22. Ruaridh Jackson * 23. Andrea Masi
*Represents new signings
15. Alex Goode; 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. David Strettle 10. Charlie Hodgson, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. George Kruis, 5. Alistair Hargreaves ©, 6. Kelly Brown, 7. Will Fraser, 8. Billy Vunipola.
Replacements; 16. Scott Spurling, 17. Rhys Gill, 18. Petrus Du Plessis, 19. Jim Hamilton, 20. Jackson Wray, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Owen Farrell, 23. Tim Streather.