Wasps team to play La Rochelle

Wasps have been forced to make three changes to their match day squad to play La Rochelle on Sunday, in round three of the European Rugby Champions Cup. 

Jake Cooper-Woolley has had to withdraw due to a lower back strain, while Kyle Eastmond and Willie Le Roux are sidelined by illness.

Marty Moore now starts at tighthead with Will Stuart coming onto the bench and Marcus Watson replaces Kyle Eastmond among the replacements.

Captain Joe Launchbury returns to Wasps’ second row, alongside James Gaskell. Kearnan Myall is ready to make an impact from the bench and is in line to make his 100th appearance for Wasps.

Among the replacements, Tom Cruse returns to the match day squad for the first time since breaking his thumb in the first round of the Champions Cup against Ulster.

Nizaam Carr, Gaby Lovobalavu and Ben Harris are all set to make their European debuts for Wasps.

Young is expecting a titanic clash on France’s Atlantic coast against the Pool 1 toppers this Sunday and knows Wasps’ approach must be to play their natural attacking game to try to win the game, rather than adopting a conservative approach trying not lose it.

“We're going out to try to win. If we think we can defend and hit them on the counter-attack we’ll lose, so we've got to take the game to them,” he said.

“We're playing against a fantastic team over the next two weekends. La Rochelle are playing really well at this moment in time. You don't sit at the top of the French table for nothing. They've got quality players right across the board.

“It's a massive challenge for us but one we're all really looking forward to. Their size, strength and power is there for everyone to see, so we're going to have to combat and match that.

“They're very much a momentum team, if they get on the front foot they're going to cause problems and score tries. It's up to us, when we get the ball, to make sure we keep it. We have to play our game, keep the tempo high and take our opportunities when they arise.”

Wasps team to play Stade Rochelais
15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Jimmy Gopperth
11. Elliot Daly
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson
1.  Simon McIntyre
2.  Ashley Johnson
3.  Marty Moore
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5.  James Gaskell
6.  James Haskell
7.  Thomas Young
8.  Nizaam Carr 

 Replacements
16. Tom Cruse
17. Ben Harris
18. Will Stuart
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Jack Willis
21. Joe Simpson
22. Marcus Watson
23. Gaby Lovobalavu

Unavailable for selection through injury/illness

Josh Bassett, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Paul Doran-Jones, Kyle Eastmond, Nathan Hughes, Sam Jones, Willie Le Roux, Matt Mullan, Alex Rieder, Will Rowlands, Matt Symons, Tommy Taylor, Guy Thompson.

Supporters information

Fans travelling to La Rochelle this weekend are invited to meet at The General Humbert's, 14 Rue Saint-Nicolas from 7pm on Saturday, where fans can collect Wasps flags and berets while stocks last.  

Wasps complete the second part of their European Champions Cup double-header against La Rochelle at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 17 December, 1pm kick off.

There will be French food on the menu in the hospitality suites and the French flavour doesn’t stop there, with the Wasps Nest Fan Village also offering French wine tasting, food and performances from mime artists and the French can-can. In addition to this, there will be fairground rides for the whole family to enjoy.

To book hospitality visit www.wasps.co.uk/hospitality

Tickets are available from wasps.co.uk/tickets