Launchbury and Gaskell return for crunch Bath battle

Date: 3 May 2019

Locks Joe Launchbury and James Gaskell have both recovered from injuries to start for Wasps against Bath Rugby at The Rec on Sunday in Round 21 of the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off 3pm).

Skipper Launchbury will be set for his 99th Premiership appearance after overcoming an Achilles/calf problem while Gaskell is back in the starting line-up following a calf injury.

Elsewhere in the pack, Simon McIntyre is handed a first Premiership start since April 2018 as he replaces Zurabi Zhvania (knee), while hooker Tom Cruse also starts.

In the backs, Juan de Jongh comes into the starting 15 with Elliot Daly missing out with a knee knock. Rob Miller is named as starting fly half for his 149th Premiership appearance in place of Lima Sopoaga, who has been at his fiancee’s side this week for the birth of their second child.

On the replacements bench Tommy Taylor returns after a back problem while loosehead prop Ben Harris and back Ross Neal are also named in the squad.

A win for either side is crucial if they are to stand a chance of securing a place in the play-offs – while points are precious in the battle for the top six – with just six points separating six teams from fourth to ninth in the table.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Both games remaining are of huge significance now in terms of where we finish at the end of the season. 

“There’s not much between us and Bath but we’ve just got to turn up on the day. We have to make sure we have that passion, desire and commitment, which should be a given. 

“I expect us to go there and really front up and hopefully we have that concentration and focus to be on the money, and to play the rugby we know we’re capable of playing.”

Tickets for Wasps' final home game of the season against Harlequins on Saturday 18 May are available by clicking the link below or calling 02476 786411.

Wasps team to face Bath Rugby at The Rec on Sunday 5 May (kick-off 3pm)

Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Willie Le Roux (54)
14 Marcus Watson (27)
13 Juan de Jongh (47)
12 Gaby Lovobalavu (33)
11 Josh Bassett (103)
10 Rob Miller (100)
9 Joe Simpson (255)
1 Simon McIntyre (157)
2 Tom Cruse (61)
3 Kieran Brookes (16)
4 Joe Launchbury (138)
5 James Gaskell (107)
6 Brad Shields (13)
7 Nizaam Carr (35)
8 Nathan Hughes (123)

16 Tommy Taylor (46)
17 Ben Harris (43)
18 Jake Cooper-Woolley (129)
19 Will Rowlands (74)
20 Ashley Johnson (185)
21 Craig Hampson (31)
22 Lima Sopoaga (23)
23 Ross Neal (11)