Cooper-Woolley returns as Wasps reshuffle for Northampton visit

Date: 2 Nov 2018




Tighthead prop Jake Cooper-Woolley will return to make his first appearance since the Premiership semi-final in May, as Wasps take on Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup this Sunday at Ricoh Arena (kick-off 3pm).

Cooper-Woolley has recovered from a bicep injury to start in the front row, while New Zealander Ambrose Curtis prepares for his first-team debut on the wing.

Rob Miller returns at full back to skipper the side for the first time and is joined by Curtis and the returning Marcus Watson in the back three.

Gaby Lovobalavu recovers from a knee problem to start in the centres with Ross Neal, while Billy Searle and Craig Hampson form the half-back combination.

In the pack, Tom West prepares for his first start of the season alongside Cooper-Woolley and Academy hooker Gabriel Oghre, while Charlie Matthews and Kearnan Myall are handed their first starts of the campaign in the second row.

In the back row, Ben Morris also gets his first start of the season alongside Joe Atkinson and Tom Willis.

On the bench, loosehead Simon McIntyre could make his first appearance since suffering a foot injury in April while Antonio Harris could also step in for his first game since the Premiership semi-final in May following a bicep problem.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Every round will have a slightly different emphasis for us. In the first round we pretty much played our Academy team, the team that would normally play A team rugby for us, and we gave them an opportunity to play some first-team rugby.

“This week it’s much more of a mixed team. A lot of these boys, who haven't had enough rugby because of injuries or other guys in their positions playing well, will be really eager to impress.

“It gives them a real opportunity to put their hands up and put some pressure on moving forward and the likes of Academy duo Tom Willis and Gabriel Oghre will get the opportunity to play with more experienced guys as well.

“Gaby Lovobalavu coming back in for some game time will only help Ross Neal too, while it will be nice to see Ambrose Curtis out there making his debut and Marcus Watson coming back.”

Tickets for the game are available by clicking here.

Wasps – Club link/university (Wasps first-team appearances)
15 Rob Miller (c) (88)
14 Marcus Watson (15)
13 Ross Neal (1)
12 Gaby Lovobalavu (17)
11 Ambrose Curtis (0)
10 Billy Searle (4)
9 Craig Hampson (17)
1 Tom West (7)
2 Gabriel Oghre (4)
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley (115)
4 Charlie Matthews (1)
5 Kearnan Myall (121)
6 Ben Morris (3)
7 Joe Atkinson (2)
8 Tom Willis (5)

Replacements
16 Antonio Harris (7)
17 Simon McIntyre (151)
18 Alex Hunt - Extended Academy & Loughborough Students (1)
19 Tim Cardall (2)
20 James Seabrook - Extended Academy & University of Warwick (5)
21 Will Porter (5)
22 Will Simonds (1)
23 Owain James (7)

Wasps team to face Northampton Saints at Ricoh Arena on Sunday 4 November (kick-off 3pm)

15 Rob Miller (c) 
14 Marcus Watson 
13 Ross Neal
12 Gaby Lovobalavu 
11 Ambrose Curtis 
10 Billy Searle 
9 Craig Hampson 
1 Tom West 
2 Gabriel Oghre 
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley
4 Charlie Matthews 
5 Kearnan Myall 
6 Ben Morris 
7 Joe Atkinson 
8 Tom Willis 

Replacements
16 Antonio Harris 
17 Simon McIntyre 
18 Alex Hunt 
19 Tim Cardall 
20 James Seabrook
21 Will Porter
22 Will Simonds
23 Owain James