Centre Juan de Jongh and hooker Tommy Taylor are named in the starting line-up against Sale Sharks to make their 50th Wasps appearances in Round 3 of the Premiership Rugby Cup this Saturday at the AJ Bell Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
Taylor returns to the front row while De Jongh is set for his first appearance of the season, as Wasps go in search of back-to-back wins following last weekend’s 36-32 triumph at Northampton Saints.
All Black Jeff Toomaga-Allen is handed a first start for the Club in the front-row next to Taylor and loosehead Ben Harris while Academy forward Thibaud Flament is given the nod in the second-row next to Charlie Matthews.
Ashley Johnson will captain the side from the back-row for his 189th Wasps appearance, alongside Nizaam Carr and Jack Willis – the latter who makes his first start since March.
Springbok De Jongh partners Michael Le Bourgeois in the centres while Sam Wolstenholme and Jacob Umaga start again in the half-back combination.
Full-back Rob Miller is joined by summer signings Zach Kibirige and Paolo Odogwu on the wings – with the latter taking on his former employers, as Wasps look to add to their tally of ten tries in two matches.
Summer signing Theo Vukasinovic is in line for his Wasps debut from the bench while Billy Searle returns to the squad since his freak injury against Bristol Bears back in February.
Wasps Forwards Coach Andy Titterrell said: “We’ll take a lot of confidence out of Saturday’s win at Saints. Certain areas went really well for us and were a lot better than the week before.
“We have to box clever at Sale but ultimately you have to be prepared to meet fire with fire and when we’ve been up there before we’ve confronted them and we’ve not gone into our shells.
“My message to the forwards will be let’s have more of what we did in the second-half v Saints and get that for an 80-minute showing. At the end of the day, if we get our detail right, if we get our knowledge right, and if we bring the emotional side of the game, then we could have a good afternoon up there.”
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