Dai Young has named his Wasps squad to take on Bath Rugby at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, as the club celebrates its 150th anniversary game.
Thomas Young makes his first start of the season and 50th Premiership appearance, at openside, having impressed as a replacement last weekend on his return from a calf injury. James Haskell moves to the blindside flank, with Nathan Hughes again packing down at no. 8.
Elsewhere in the pack, Will Rowlands lines up alongside Joe Launchbury in the second row. Up front, Simon McIntyre starts at loosehead, with Ben Harris ready to make his first appearance of the season from the bench. Matt Symons and Matt Mullan are ruled out following knocks picked up against Exeter Chiefs last week.
The only change in the backline sees Brendan Macken starting alongside Elliot Daly in the centre, having impressed from the bench last week.
Ahead of the clash with Wasps and Bath level on match points in the Aviva Premiership table, Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said:
“This is a big game for both teams. Both sides have had a bit of a stuttering start to the season, with a couple of wins and a couple of losses and we’re in a similar place coming into this game.
“We need to show more composure than we have done in recent weeks, make smart decisions and respect the ball, so we don’t give a side with as many attacking threats as Bath needless opportunities. I’m expecting a really fired up Wasps’ team, with a big focus on individual skills, on ball retention and on getting at least parity of possession and territory. If we can achieve that, then there is no reason why we can’t get back to winning ways at home.
“As you would imagine, the players’ and coaches’ entire focus this week is on getting the performance right to come away with the result we want, but we also appreciate how big a year it is for the club, and in particular Sunday’s game being dedicated to celebrating Wasps’ 150th anniversary.
“It will be great to see so many players who have represented Wasps so well over a variety of decades at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, supporting the existing squad. There’s a long season ahead and we want to put in performances on the field to do them, the club and our fans proud.”
Wasps Team to play Bath Rugby
15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Brendan Macken
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Joe Simpson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury (c)
5. Will Rowlands
6. James Haskell
7. Thomas Young
8. Nathan Hughes
16. Ashley Johnson
17. Ben Harris
18. Paul Doran Jones
19. Marcus Garratt
20. Jack Willis
21. Craig Hampson
22. Juan De Jongh
23. Marcus Watson
Further information for supporters about the club’s 150th anniversary.
More than 40 players, spanning across five decades, will be taking part in activities across the venue this weekend. World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio and former team-mates including Kenny Logan, Rob Andrew, Richard Birkett, Fraser Waters and John Hart are expected at the special celebration game.
Wasps Season Members in the club house will be able to enjoy a giant 150thbirthday cake, the opportunity to have their 150th commemorative books signed by a selection of players.
The club officially launches its 150th book at 12:15 at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, with a selection of players past and present book signing in Wasps Club Store until 13:15.
Please note, due to time restrictions players will only be able to sign books rather than a wide range of merchandise.
The culmination of Wasps two-day charity bike ride in association with Dallaglio RugbyWorks will end at the Ricoh Arena, having taken in former Wasps’ grounds along the 150-mile route. The club will host fundraising initiatives for Dallaglio RugbyWorks, one of the club’s three charity partners in their anniversary year, that helps disadvantaged 14 to 17 year-olds achieve sustained education, employment or training. http://www.dallagliorugbyworks.com/
There will be an outdoor street festival-style Fan Village in Car Park D with lots of entertainment for all ages, including live music from band 'The Peas', an award-winning magician, human statue, balloon modeller, the WIZ and food and drink kiosks.
Don't forget to pick up your copy of our special 100-page edition of the match day programme, including interviews with Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Launchbury, Elliot Daly and Joe Simpson!
Tickets are available from wasps.co.uk/tickets