Wasps team to face La Rochelle

Date: 15 Dec 2017

Dai Young has named Wasps’ line-up to face Top 14 leaders La Rochelle at the Ricoh Arena in round four of the European Rugby Champions Cup on Sunday at 1pm.

Dai Young has named Wasps’ line-up to face Top 14 leaders La Rochelle at the Ricoh Arena in round four of the European Rugby Champions Cup on Sunday at 1pm.

In the pack, Nathan Hughes returns to action after recovering from a badly bruised knee sustained while representing England during the autumn internationals.

He joins last week’s try-scorer Thomas Young and James Haskell in the back row, while the front five that operated so solidly in the setpiece at the Stade Marcel Deflandre gets the opportunity to produce a repeat performance.

Five forwards including Nizaam Carr, Tom Cruse and Kearnan Myall, are part of a powerful bench.

Behind the scrum, Willie Le Roux and Kyle Eastmond have recovered from illness to wear the No.15 and No.22 shirts respectively.

Jimmy Gopperth and Juan De Jongh are again paired in midfield, outside Dan Robson and Danny Cipriani.

Wingers Christian Wade and Elliot Daly complete the backline, while Eastmond, Joe Simpson and Gaby Lovobalavu will provide impact from the bench.

Looking ahead to the vital clash, Wasps’ director of rugby acknowledged his side will need to improve in a number of areas to turn around last week’s defeat at the Stade Marcel Deflandre, but also believes they have plenty to build on.

“We know we're going to have to play top-quality rugby, and that we have to improve by ten per cent,” he said.

“We have worked hard on our analysis of last Sunday’s game, and now need to make sure we apply lessons learned.

“We can take confidence from how well we handled their power. We were more than a match for them set-piece wise, and for large parts of the game our defence held solid. 

“They've got quality players who will create problems, but we’ve also shown that if we get reasonable possession we can take the game to them and score tries.”

 Wasps team to play La Rochelle
15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Jimmy Gopperth 
11. Elliot Daly
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson 
1.  Simon McIntyre
2.  Ashley Johnson
3.  Marty Moore
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5.  James Gaskell 
6.  James Haskell
7.  Thomas Young
8.  Nathan Hughes

16. Tom Cruse
17. Ben Harris
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Nizaam Carr
21. Joe Simpson
22. Kyle Eastmond
23. Gaby Lovobalavu

Unavailable for selection through injury
Josh Bassett, Paul Doran-Jones, Sam Jones, Matt Mullan, Alex Rieder, Will Rowlands, Matt Symons, Tommy Taylor, Guy Thompson.

Tickets are still available for this Sunday’s must-win European clash from £22. Under 10s go free wasps.co.uk/tickets.

Pre and post-match entertainment is available for the whole family in the French themed fan village in the Ericsson Exhibition Hall. This includes fairground rides, can-can dancers, mime artists, wine tasting and French cuisine. 

Tickets are also available for next Saturday’s vital Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester plus the forthcoming encounters with Saracens (January 7) and with Leicester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on February 4 at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets or on 02476 786411.