Wasps team to play London Irish

Back-rower Tom Willis has been named to captain a youthful Wasps line-up at London Irish in tomorrow’s Anglo-Welsh Cup pool one clash.

He is joined in the pack by fellow England under 20 squad member Gaby Oghre, whose front-row colleagues Tom West and Will Stuart are also both former members of the England squad at this level.

Experience behind the scrum is provided by scrum half Craig Hampson plus centres Brendan Macken and Guy Armitage, who returns to the club where he spent five years between 2010 and 2015.

They are joined in an exciting backline by pacy wingers Taju Atta and Owain James, who is already on the shortlist from which the Anglo-Welsh Cup breakthrough player award is chosen following the culmination of the competition. 

Should Wasps claim a win at the Madejski Stadium, further success against LeicesterTigers at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday week could see them claim a semi-final place.

Academy manager Jon Pendlebury takes charge of a side which he is looking forward to seeing in action against the Exiles.

“This is a similar squad to the first two Anglo-Welsh Cup games and it provides our academy players with a good opportunity to play alongside and learn from their senior colleagues,” he said.

“It has been a good week of training during which academy players have been full-time in the Wasps environment while some first teamers have taken more of a leadership role.

“We know a difficult task awaits us at London Irish but we are looking forward to taking up the challenge with our young squad.”

Wasps:

15. Nick Foster
14. Taju Atta
13. Brendan Macken
12. Guy Armitage
11. Owain James
10. Jacob Umaga
9. Craig Hampson
1. Tom West
2. Gaby Oghre
3. Will Stuart
4. Tim Cardall
5. Guy Borrowdale 
6. Will Owen
7. James Seabrook
8. Tom Willis (capt)

Replacements:
16. TJ Harris
17. George Thornton
18. Jack Higgins
19. Cameron Gray 
20. Andy Saull
21. Josh Nott 
22. Sam Spink 
23. Cameron Anderson

Tickets are available for next Sunday’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Leicester Tigers and the Aviva Premiership visit of defending champions Exeter on Sunday February 18 either in person from the Ricoh Arena ticket office, at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets or on 02476 786411.