Wasps team to play Newcastle Falcons

Dai Young has named the Wasps side to play Newcastle Falcons at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, in Round 8 of the Aviva Premiership.

The game kicks off at 5.15pm to enable supporters to watch England v Australia on the big screens in the Ericsson Indoor Arena Fan Village at 3pm.

Ashley Johnson is set to make his 150th appearance for Wasps and will captain the side, while Jimmy Gopperth makes his 50th Premiership appearance for Wasps.

There are also welcome returns from injury for Kyle Eastmond, Gabiriele Lovobalavu and Kearnan Myall. Eastmond makes his first start since rupturing his Achilles against Gloucester at the end of February, while Lovobalavu and Myall have recovered from calf and ankle injuries respectively to take their place among the replacements.

Wasps’ two loan players, hooker Nathan Charles and back row Nizaam Carr, who made a try-scoring debut in the Anglo Welsh Cup last week, are also poised to get their first taste of Aviva Premiership action.

Speaking ahead of the game, Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It’s great to have three more players back from injury for this game and we’re looking forward to seeing them in action as they start to build match sharpness. We’re hoping to get back to somewhere near full-strength over the next month, which will be a real boost.

“It was really pleasing to finish the last block of games with a couple of good wins in Europe and the Premiership. Now it’s important to fully turn the ship around and kick on in what’s going to be a massive block for us. We’ve put ourselves back in the mix, with the table being so tight, but we know we can’t afford to lose too many more games and we need to pick up as many points as we can during this next block of games to ensure we are still in the mix after the break.

“The Falcons have got the better of us the last couple of times we’ve played them in the A league and Anglo Welsh Cup, so we’re well aware of the talent and depth to their squad. They’re a quality team who have threats right across the board. They have the best lineout in the league at this moment in time stats wise, with a very good driving lineout, so we know they are going to be really strong at set-piece time. If we give them opportunities, they have quality players who could cause us plenty of problems, so we will need to be on our mettle and produce the quality of performance that got us the last couple of results.”

Wasps team to play Newcastle

15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Kyle Eastmond
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Dan Robson
1.  Simon McIntyre
2.  Ashley Johnson ©
3.  Jake Cooper-Woolley
4.  Will Rowlands
5.  James Gaskell
6.  James Haskell
7.  Thomas Young
8.  Guy Thompson

Replacements
16. Nathan Charles
17. Ben Harris
18. Marty Moore
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Nizaam Carr
21. Joe Simpson
22. Rob Miller
23. Gabiriele Lovobalavu

Unavailable for selection:

Internationals: Elliot Daly, Nathan Hughes, Joe Launchbury

Injury: Danny Cipriani, Tom Cruse, Paul Doran-Jones, Sam Jones, Matt Mullan, Alex Rieder, Matt Symons, Tommy Taylor, Marcus Watson 

Fans can treat themselves to a double header of rugby by catching the Autumn International fixture between England and Australia in the Fan Village at 3pm before the Wasps game.

Fans will also get the chance to try out a Knight Training Camp inside the Wasps Nest Fan Village on match day between 3pm and 4.30pm, with workshops being laid on by four of Warwick Castle’s own knights.

Tickets are available for the game from wasps.co.uk/tickets or on the day from £21