Wasps team to play Northampton Saints

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named Wasps’ squad to travel to Franklin’s Gardens this Saturday to take on Northampton Saints, as both teams return to Aviva Premiership action.

The only change to the squad that beat Harlequins in the Champions Cup last Sunday sees Guy Thompson starting at number 8, with Matt Symons returning from injury to take a place on the bench. Nathan Hughes misses the game through a two-week suspension.

Thomas Young and James Gaskell are in line to make their 50th Premiership appearance for Wasps at the weekend.

Ahead of the short trip across the Midlands, the focus inside Wasps’ camp has been on trying to back up last weekend’s performance. “It would be too simple and too early to say we’ve turned a corner,” said Young, “but the last three games have seen a big step up in intensity and performance.

“Hopefully last Sunday’s win has helped to build some confidence, but the important thing now is to back up that performance so that we can kick on.

“We’ve set some good standards defensively over the past three weeks, particularly against Quins when we were also more clinical when we had the ball. So things are moving in the right direction, but there are still a lot of things we can and must do better.

“Saints have gone pretty well in the Premiership, but we know they will be hurting from their European defeats. We saw how well they bounced back earlier in the season in a similar scenario, so we’re under no illusion about how tough Saturday will be and that Saints will throw everything at us. This is a really important game for both teams.”

Wasps team to play Northampton Saints

15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Juan de Jongh
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Dan Robson
1. Matt Mullan
2. Ashley Johnson
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5. Will Rowlands
6. James Haskell
7. Thomas Young
8. Guy Thompson

16. Antonio (TJ) Harris
17. Simon McIntyre
18. Marty Moore
19. James Gaskell
20. Jack Willis
21. Matt Symons
22. Joe Simpson
23. Rob Miller

Unavailable for selection: 

Guy Armitage, Danny Cipriani, Tom Cruse, Gaby Lovobalavu, Paul Doran-Jones, Kyle Eastmond, Sam Jones, Kearnan Myall, Alex Rieder, Tommy Taylor, Marcus Watson, Nathan Hughes

Wasps’ next home game is against Newcastle in the Anglo Welsh Cup, on Saturday 4 November. Tickets for the game are available from wasps.co.uk/tickets