Gaskell to become Wasps centurion in final cup match

Date: 1 Feb 2019

Wasps lock James Gaskell will make his 100th appearance for the Club in their final Premiership Rugby Cup clash of the season against Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Meanwhile, scrum half Joe Simpson has recovered from an ankle injury to feature for the first time since November, as he replaces Dan Robson who is away on Six Nations duty with England.

Ashley Johnson captains the side from number six and is joined in the back row by Ben Morris and Nizaam Carr, who replace the international trio of Brad Shields, Nathan Hughes (both England) and Thomas Young (Wales).

Charlie Matthews makes up the second row pairing with Gaskell, as they replace Joe Launchbury (England) and Will Rowlands. Ben Harris packs down with Tom Cruse and Jake Cooper-Woolley in the front row.

Behind the scrum, Lima Sopoaga forms the half-back pairing with Simpson, while Gaby Lovobalavu and Juan de Jongh compose an experienced centre partnership. Marcus Watson replaces Elliot Daly (England) to join Rob Miller and Josh Bassett in the back three.

Among the replacements, Tommy Taylor returns after a spell out with concussion, along with Tom West and Joe Atkinson, with all three in line to make their first appearances since November.

Wasps Forwards Coach Andy Titterrell said: “Worcester have had a couple of decent results in this competition and they recently pushed Saracens so they’ll be a difficult side to face.

“Both teams will be wanting to build a little bit of momentum going back into the league so it's going to be a fiercely-contested match from every angle.

“That's what we will prepare for, that's what I expect, and I am sure that is what we will get.

“Players have to step up when the international players aren't here. Those players waiting in the wings have to step up and make it difficult for Dai (Young) to select those guys when they come back.”

Wasps team to face Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Sunday 3 February (kick-off 3pm)

Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Rob Miller (94)
14 Marcus Watson (19)
13 Juan de Jongh (38)
12 Gaby Lovobalavu (24)
11 Josh Bassett (94)
10 Lima Sopoaga (17)
9 Joe Simpson (247)
1 Ben Harris (37)
2 Tom Cruse (52)
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley (124)
4 Charlie Matthews (10)
5 James Gaskell (99)
6 Ashley Johnson (c) (176)
7 Ben Morris (11)
8 Nizaam Carr (26)

16 Tommy Taylor (41)
17 Tom West (10)
18 Will Stuart (25)
19 Kearnan Myall (130)
20 Joe Atkinson (4)
21 Craig Hampson (27)
22 Billy Searle (11)
23 Ross Neal (9)