Fit-again Tommy Taylor and Josh Bassett boost Wasps' derby-day hopes
Tommy Taylor makes his long-awaited return to action when Wasps host Leicester Tigers in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Sunday (kick off 1pm).
The England squad hooker has been out of action since last season’s Aviva Premiership final while recuperating from a knee injury.
Taylor is joined in the home pack by lock forwards Marcus Garratt and Will Rowlands plus back-rower Jack Wills, none of whom featured in last weekend’s defeat at London Irish.
Behind the scrum, full back Rob Miller and winger Marcus Watson are added to the line-up, which is captained by scrum half Craig Hampson.
The black-and-gold bench includes experienced No.9 Joe Simpson plus winger Josh Bassett, who has recovered from a hamstring tear suffered against Gloucester in late December.
Backs coach Lee Blackett said that after resting players for the trip to Reading, the visit of Leicester is an important building block towards the resumption of top flight action at Harlequins next weekend.
“Last week we took the chance to rest anyone that had played a lot of minutes,” he said.
“Now we need to put in a performance and Sunday’s game is about trying to get the right result at home in front of our own fans.
“The first-team boys that we rested have had their week off and come back this week really refreshed. We also have a couple of guys coming back from injury, and as a result, we're stronger than we were against Irish.”
Wasps team to play Leicester Tigers
15. Rob Miller
14. Owain James
13. Brendan Macken
12. Sam Spink
11. Marcus Watson
10. Jacob Umaga
9. Craig Hampson (c)
1. Tom West
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Will Stuart
4. Marcus Garratt
5. Will Rowlands
6. Will Owen
7. James Seabrook
8. Jack Willis
16. TJ Harris
17. George Thornton
18. Jack Higgins
19. Guy Borrowdale
20. Andy Saull
21. Joe Simpson
22. Cameron Anderson
23. Josh Bassett
Tickets for Sunday's match plus the visits of Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs on February 18 and London Irish on March 4 are available at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets on 02476 786411 or in person from the Ricoh Arena ticket office.