Wasps make late change for Exeter Chiefs clash
Gaby Lovobalavu replaces the injured Juan De Jongh in Wasps' midfield for this afternoon's home clash with league leaders Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh on Sunday (3pm).
The Fijian ace, who has appeared in three World Cups, partners fit-again Aviva Premiership player-of-the-year Jimmy Gopperth in the home midfield.
Wasps rugby director Dai Young makes one further switch behind the scrum which sees Marcus Watson introduced on the right wing.
In the pack, the only change to last week’s starting line-up sees Irish international tight-head Marty Moore wear the No.3 shirt.
He switches roles with Jake Cooper-Woolley, who is part of a power-packed bench that includes Matt Mullan, Ashley Johnson, Brendan Macken, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson.
In addition, Will Rowlands and Alex Rieder, who has been absent since mid-September, are named among the replacements following their recovery from shoulder complaints.
Wasps and Exeter have locked horns no fewer than nine times in the last 26 months, and according to Young few secrets therefore remain between last year’s Aviva Premiership finalists.
“We know each other very well, neither team hides the way they try to play the game, and we both know that either of us is capable of winning,” he says.
“We draw the best out of each other and there never seems to be too much in the games.
“I’m sure both clubs like to think they will be there or thereabouts by the end of the season, so this is a big game for both of us.
“After beating Harlequins last week, these next three games are huge in deciding where we will sit going into the business end of the season.”
Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs
15. Willie Le Roux
14. Marcus Watson
13. Gaby Lovobalavu
12. Jimmy Gopperth
11. Josh Bassett
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Marty Moore
4. James Gaskell ©
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Jack Willis
7. Thomas Young
8. Guy Thompson
16. Ashley Johnson
17. Matt Mullan
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
19. Will Rowlands
20. Alex Rieder
21. Joe Simpson
22. Brendan Macken
23. Christian Wade
Tickets are available for the Aviva Premiership visits of London Irish on March 4 and Northampton Saints on April 29 at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets on 02476 786411.