Quartet return to boost Wasps' Premiership hopes

Date: 9 Feb 2018


James Gaskell captains Wasps at Harlequins when the Aviva Premiership resumes on Sunday following a four-week break.

The matchday 23 named by rugby director Dai Young is boosted by the return from injury of Jimmy Gopperth, Matt Mullan, Gaby Lovobalavu and Nathan Hughes.

This quartet are joined on a power-packed bench by Ashley Johnson, Joe Simpson and Marty Moore. 

Last week’s Anglo-Welsh Cup man-of-the-match Jack Willis shifts from No.8 to the blindside flank, while Tom Cruse, who picked up the same award following the recent European Cup win over Ulster, starts at hooker.

Behind the scrum, Young makes only one change to the line-up that claimed a bonus point success over the Northern Irishmen.

This sees fit-again Josh Bassett, who claimed an Anglo-Welsh brace from the bench against Leicester last Sunday, selected on the left wing.

Young said the round 14 clash launches a sequence which he believes could define Wasps’ season.

“We have a block of four games now which will pretty much determine where we're going to sit in the league,” he said.

“If we can get the results we want we should be sitting comfortably in the top four after which we can push for the top two in the last three or four games.

“But if we don't get these results right, we're probably going to be fighting to get into that top four.

“When we played at the Stoop last month we dominated the game for 55 minutes, then let it slip, so it is essential we play for the full 80 minutes against them tomorrow.

“That result also knocked us out of Europe. The boys will carry that hurt with them this week and if we play to the best of our ability we're more than capable of going anywhere and winning.”

Wasps team to play Harlequins

15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Kyle Eastmond
11. Josh Bassett
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. James Gaskell ©
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Jack Willis
7. Thomas Young
8. Guy Thompson

Replacements:
16. Ashley Johnson
17. Matt Mullan
18. Marty Moore
19. Marcus Garratt
20. Nathan Hughes
21. Joe Simpson
22. Jimmy Gopperth
23. Gaby Lovobalavu 

Tickets are available for the visit of Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs on February 18 plus the top-flight clash with London Irish on March 4 at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets on 02476 786411.