Sopoaga returns for Worcester battle

Date: 5 Apr 2019


All Black fly half Lima Sopoaga has recovered from injury to start for Wasps against Worcester Warriors in their crucial Round 18 Gallagher Premiership clash at Ricoh Arena on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). 

Sopoaga is back after fracturing his hand against Sale Sharks in February. Elsewhere in the starting line-up, Elliot Daly steps in for Juan de Jongh in the centres with Josh Bassett back on the left flank.

In the front row Zurabi Zhvania gets the nod at loosehead prop next to Tom Cruse and Will Stuart while James Gaskell is in the second row with captain Joe Launchbury, who scored against Warriors on the opening day of the season. 

An all-international back row comprises Brad Shields, Nizaam Carr and Nathan Hughes, while Sopoaga partners Joe Simpson in the half backs.

Daly will link up with Fijian Gaby Lovobalavu in the centres while Willie Le Roux, Marcus Watson and Bassett occupy the back three.

Rob Miller could make his 100th Wasps appearance from the bench while scrum half Craig Hampson is also back among the replacements.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It is a big game for both teams and there are four big ones coming after it too. We’re getting to a point in the season where they are all pressure games. The pressure and what’s at stake will have an impact and hopefully a positive one. The players are used to playing under pressure whether it’s at the top or the bottom or trying to get in the top four or top six. We’re under no illusions of the task that’s at hand. 

“We’re going to have to play some really good stuff as they’re a good team. It’s probably one of the best Worcester teams I’ve seen for a long time.” 

“We owe our supporters a win at the Ricoh. We haven’t repaid that loyalty and faith but first and foremost we want to do it for ourselves.”

 Tickets to Wasps v Worcester Warriors are available by clicking the link below or calling 02476 786411. 

Wasps team to face Worcester Warriors at Ricoh Arena on Saturday 6 April (kick-off 3pm)

Wasps (First-team appearances)

15 Willie Le Roux (51)

14 Marcus Watson (24)

13 Elliot Daly (189)

12 Gaby Lovobalavu (30)

11 Josh Bassett (100)

10 Lima Sopoaga (20)

9 Joe Simpson (252)

1 Zurabi Zhvania (19)

2 Tom Cruse (58)

3 Will Stuart (31)

4 Joe Launchbury (c) (136)

5 James Gaskell (105)

6 Brad Shields (10)

7 Nizaam Carr (32)

8 Nathan Hughes (120)

 

Replacements

16 Ashley Johnson (182)

17 Simon McIntyre (154)

18 Jake Cooper-Woolley (126)

19 Will Rowlands (71)

20 Ben Morris (16)

21 Craig Hampson (30)

22 Rob Miller (99)

23 Juan de Jongh (44)