Six new Wasps handed Connacht debuts
Date: 16 Aug 2018
Director of rugby David Young hands Wasps debuts to six new signings when his club gets its 2018/19 campaign underway with a friendly against Pro-14 outfit Connacht at Dubarry Park on Saturday.
New Zealand Maoris winger Ambrose Curtis, powerful centre Michael Le Bourgeois and fly half Billy Searle all claim places in an exciting backline.
Meanwhile, England Saxons lock Charlie Matthews plus back-rowers Joe Atkinson and Ben Morris wear black-and-gold for the first time in the pack.
And this number could increase to nine should England international prop Kieran Brookes, former London Scottish centre Ross Neal or England Sevens product Callum Sirker make their Wasps bows from a 12-strong bench.
Rob Miller and Marcus Watson join Curtis in a pacy back three while Juan De Jongh partners Le Bourgeois in midfield and Joe Simpson teams up with Searle at half-back.
Exciting prospects Tom West and Will Stuart partner England international Tommy Taylor in the front row, with Will Rowlands and Ashley Johnson, who captains the side, completing the forward pack.
David Young said:
“After a good pre-season we are all looking forward to getting back in action against Connacht on Saturday.
“We have seen plenty of them in the last few years and are expecting a really good work out.
“Our line-up for this first game does not include any England summer tourists or our more recent new arrivals. We hope to involve some of them against Ulster at the Ricoh next Friday evening.
“These games are good preparation for the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership at Worcester, and I have no doubt all the players will be keen to impress.”
Season membership packages enable Wasps supporters to save as much as 33 per cent compared to ticket purchase on a match-by-match basis, and in the process secure a seat of their choice for the whole campaign.
Under 10s go free in most areas of the Ricoh Arena.
Book seats by visiting the Ricoh Arena ticket office, going to www.wasps.co.uk/tickets or calling 02476 786411.
Tickets for Wasps v Ulster next Friday evening August 24 are also available via the same methods.
Wasps team to face Connacht at Dubarry Park, Athlone on Saturday August 18 (3pm kick off)
15. Rob Miller
14. Ambrose Curtis
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Michael Le Bourgeois
11. Marcus Watson
10. Billy Searle
9. Joe Simpson
1. Tom West
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Will Stuart
4. Will Rowlands
5. Charlie Matthews
6. Ashley Johnson (c)
7. Joe Atkinson
8. Ben Morris
16. Tom Cruse
17. Ben Harris
18. Kieran Brookes
19. Tim Cardall
20. Tom Willis
21. Will Porter
22. Jimmy Gopperth
23. Gaby Lovobalavu
24. Ross Neal
25. Josh Bassett
26. Callum Sirker
27. Kearnan Myall