Morris and Searle handed Champions Cup debuts in Toulouse

Date: 14 Dec 2018


Ben Morris and Billy Searle will be handed their Heineken Champions Cup debuts for Wasps against Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday (kick-off 4.15pm local time, 3.15pm GMT).

Flanker Morris, who turned 27 yesterday, returns to the side and fly half Searle steps in for Lima Sopoaga, as the pair make their first European appearances in the Black and Gold.

Meanwhile, lock Charlie Matthews will also be making his first European start for the Club with Ashley Johnson coming in for the injured Tom Cruse (knee) at hooker.

Morris joins Thomas Young and Nizaam Carr in the back row with Brad Shields (ankle) and Nathan Hughes (hip) out, while Matthews is partnered by the experienced Kearnan Myall in the second row.

Searle lines up next to scrum half Craig Hampson while Michael Le Bourgeois and Elliot Daly continue their centre partnership. Willie Le Roux, Josh Bassett and Ross Neal start in the back three.

In the replacements, Academy back row Tom Willis could make his first Champions Cup appearance with Italian star Michele Campagnaro preparing to make his European bow in the Black and Gold.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “I don’t think we’re a million miles off where we want to be. We’ve looked a bit better as a team over the past two to three weeks.

“There are little things we’re not getting right at the moment though which could’ve been the difference last weekend.

“Toulouse are a team to be feared at home. They certainly step up their offloading game so we’re going to have to go out and put a performance in.

“We’ll have to do the basics well. It’s a good place to go and try and build something before going back into the Premiership but we have to be better both sides of the ball.”

Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Willie Le Roux (42)
14 Ross Neal (6)
13 Elliot Daly (183)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois (11)
11 Josh Bassett (88)
10 Billy Searle (7)
9 Craig Hampson (23)
1 Ben Harris (31)
2 Ashley Johnson (c) (173)
3 Kieran Brookes (12)
4 Charlie Matthews (5)
5 Kearnan Myall (126)
6 Ben Morris (8)
7 Thomas Young (97)
8 Nizaam Carr (20)

Replacements
16 Antonio Harris (11)
17 Zurabi Zhvania (10)
18 Will Stuart (20)
19 Will Rowlands (60)
20 Tom Willis (10)
21 Will Porter (9)
22 Lima Sopoaga (11)
23 Michele Campagnaro (1)

Wasps team to face Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday 15 December (kick-off 4.15pm local, 3.15pm GMT)

15 Willie Le Roux
14 Ross Neal
13 Elliot Daly
12 Michael Le Bourgeois
11 Josh Bassett
10 Billy Searle
9 Craig Hampson
1 Ben Harris
2 Ashley Johnson (c)
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Charlie Matthews
5 Kearnan Myall
6 Ben Morris
7 Thomas Young
8 Nizaam Carr

Replacements
16 Antonio Harris
17 Zurabi Zhvania
18 Will Stuart
19 Will Rowlands 
20 Tom Willis 
21 Will Porter
22 Lima Sopoaga 
23 Michele Campagnaro