Wasps team to play Sale Sharks
Date: 1 Sep 2017
Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps team to face Sale Sharks at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday 2 September, kick off 3pm.
Wasps are set to open the 2017/18 campaign at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday as they take on Sale Sharks in their first game of the new season. Tickets for the game are available to purchase online at wasps.co.uk/tickets
New signing Gaby Lovobalavu is named to start at outside centre, while fellow new faces Juan De Jongh and Marcus Watson are included among the replacements, primed to make their Aviva Premiership debuts for Wasps.
Joe Launchbury returns to captain the side, in the second row, having been rested during Wasps’ two pre-season fixtures following England duty. Fellow England international Nathan Hughes is also included in the starting line-up, with Matt Mullan named on the bench.
Ahead of Wasps’ first game of the 2017/18 season, Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We’re all looking forward to getting back out there on Saturday. After a tough pre-season, the boys can’t wait to be back out on the field at the Ricoh Arena in front of our home support.
“We’ve had two good wins in our pre-season games against Ulster and Connacht, but as we prepare to kick off our Aviva Premiership campaign we know that pre-season victories count for very little in a competition where anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“Ultimately, last season was a good one for us but we came up just short in the Final and of course there’s still a bit of hurt there. Everyone knows the attacking game we like to play and our approach this season will be similar in terms of what I think we need to do to be up there again, but as a team we’re looking for more accuracy and improvements across the board.
“Sale first up is a tough challenge and they have recruited really well. You’re always going to get a dogged performance from Sale, they’re really physical, they play for each other, have a good set piece and they’ve added some big ball carriers as well as some quality players in the backline. Sale have always caused us problems and I’m sure that Saturday will be no different.
“We can’t wait to be back at the Ricoh where we love playing and we know we need to start strongly there. Hopefully our Wasps fans will give the squad a big roar as they run out to remind them how much everyone is behind them again.”
The game represents the first time Wasps' new Under Armour anniversary kit will be seen in a competitive game.
It is set to be a great family day out with plenty of entertainment taking place in the Wasps Nest Fan Village in the Ericsson Exhibition Hall.
Activities include a mariachi band, Wasps Netball crazy catch and shoot, Coventry Blaze mascot and shoot for goal challenge, Coventry Water Polo speed tracker and Batak Challenge where you can try to beat Wasps players' scores. All to be hosted by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio presenter Brody Swain.
Wasps fans are also encouraged to visit Wasps Store on match day to view a selection of the club's 150th Heritage Range as well as Under Armour’s 150th anniversary shirt.
Wasps team to face Sale Sharks at the Ricoh Arena - Saturday 2 September, 3pm KO
15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Gaby Lovobalavu
12. Jimmy Gopperth
11. Josh Bassett
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury (c)
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Ashley Johnson
7. Alex Rieder
8. Nathan Hughes
16. Will Rowlands
17. Matt Mullan
18. Marty Moore
19. Matt Symons
20. Jack Willis
21. Joe Simpson
22. Juan De Jongh
23. Marcus Watson
Unavailable for selection through injury
Kyle Eastmond, Marcus Garratt, James Gaskell, James Haskell, Sam Jones, Alex Lundberg, Tommy Taylor, Guy Thompson, Thomas Young.