Daly returns for Wasps’ European finale

Date: 18 Jan 2019


Elliot Daly is restored to the starting line-up for Wasps’ final Heineken Champions Cup clash of the season with Leinster Rugby at Ricoh Arena on Sunday (kick-off 3.15pm).

Daly returns after a compulsory week off due to his involvement in England’s Autumn Internationals, while Gaby Lovobalavu is handed his first Wasps start since November in place of Juan de Jongh (shoulder). 

Recent Wales call-up Thomas Young is also out with a shoulder knock and is replaced by Nizaam Carr, with Jake Cooper-Woolley swapping with Will Stuart at tighthead in the starting 15.

Back row Ben Morris is back in the squad amongst the replacements, as is winger Marcus Watson, who could make his first appearance in the Black and Gold since November after suffering an ankle injury.

Ashley Johnson also returns from an abdominal injury to be named on the bench.

The clash will be Wasps’ last in this season’s tournament while their opponents and reigning champions Leinster will be aiming to finish on top of Pool 1 to secure a home quarter-final.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It’s certainly a tough prospect, facing what is effectively the Irish national team just before the Six Nations. They’ll all be vying to impress to earn the green jersey in the coming weeks and they’ll want to do the job for Leinster.

“We need to make sure we’re somewhere near our best or else it could be a tough day and we certainly don’t want that at home against any opposition.

“Leinster are a quality team as we’ve seen out there in Dublin. We were in that game for 45 minutes but then they changed gear and we couldn’t live with that. We certainly don’t want a repeat of that.

“You’ve got to keep hold of the ball and you can’t switch off as they’ve got guys that can hurt you from anywhere on the field. You don’t want them getting an early lead and getting momentum as they’re very hard to turn around.”

Wasps team to face Leinster Rugby at Ricoh Arena on Sunday 20 January (kick-off 3.15pm)

Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Rob Miller (93)
14 Josh Bassett (93)
13 Michele Campagnaro (5)
12 Gaby Lovobalavu (23)
11 Elliot Daly (187)
10 Lima Sopoaga (16)
9 Dan Robson (94)
1 Zurabi Zhvania (15)
2 Tom Cruse (51)
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley (123)
4 Joe Launchbury (c) (134)
5 Will Rowlands (65)
6 Brad Shields (9)
7 Nizaam Carr (25)
8 Nathan Hughes (118)

16 Ashley Johnson (175)
17 Ben Harris (36)
18 Will Stuart (24)
19 Charlie Matthews (9)
20 Ben Morris (10)
21 Craig Hampson (26)
22 Billy Searle (10)
23 Marcus Watson (18)