Wasps team to play Gloucester
Josh Bassett and Guy Thompson return from injury to claim places in the match day 23 director of rugby Dai Young has announced to face Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership tomorrow (Ricoh Arena - 3pm KO).
Bassett takes his place on the left wing alongside Christian Wade and Willie Le Roux in an exciting back three.
They play outside Juan De Jongh and Kyle Eastmond, who continues at inside centre after replacing the injured Jimmy Gopperth a few minutes into last week’s win over La Rochelle.
Joe Simpson and Dan Robson swap starting and replacement roles at scrum half, as do Tom Cruse and Ashley Johnson at hooker.
Back-rowers Jack Willis and Nizaam Carr are the fourth and fifth members of last week’s bench to feature from the start of tomorrow’s contest.
The former England U20 flanker steps in at No.6 for James Haskell, who is rested after starting the last eight Premiership and European games, while the on-loan Springbok replaces the injured Nathan Hughes.
Thompson provides back-row cover from the bench, where he is joined by lock Kearnan Myall and prop Ben Harris plus backs Gaby Lovobalavu and Rob Miller.
Young said he is expecting a tough challenge from third-placed Gloucester, who go into the match three points and positions ahead of the hosts.
“Gloucester have been excellent this season, and their defence is probably their biggest threat as their line-speed is outstanding,” he said.
“They close you down fast and force a lot of mistakes - a lot of the tries they've scored have come from turnovers generated by their defensive efforts, so we know we're going to have to be really good with the ball and can't push things too early.
“They've also got a really good back three that will cause problems and they're good set-piece wise. They're not where they are in the league by accident, they've played really well and they're a good side, and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”
Wasps team to play Gloucester
15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Kyle Eastmond
11. Josh Bassett
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Joe Simpson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Marty Moore
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5. James Gaskell
6. Jack Willis
7. Thomas Young
8. Nizaam Carr
16. Ashley Johnson
17. Ben Harris
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Guy Thompson
21. Dan Robson
22. Rob Miller
23. Gaby Lovobalavu
Tickets are still available in the North, East and South Stands for this Saturday’s crucial Aviva Premiership clash via wasps.co.uk/tickets or on 02476 786411.
In addition to two of England’s top sides going head-to-head, there will be a Festive Fan Village in the Ericsson Indoor Arena. This features reindeer, festive food and a snow play area for kids, plus a fireworks display which the whole family can enjoy after the game.
Supporters in the Wasps Nest Fan Village will also be entertained by Christmas carol singers in addition to the normal live band, bars and Wasps Interactive Zone.
Tickets are also available for the forthcoming top flight encounter with Saracens on January 7 and with Leicester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on February 4 at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets or on 02476 786411.