Watson and Umaga return for Tigers trip

Date: 14 Feb 2020

Jacob Umaga and Marcus Watson have been restored to the Wasps starting line-up for Saturday’s Round 10 Gallagher Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (kick-off 3pm).

Umaga, who has been training with England’s Six Nations squad, is back in club action at fly-half while Watson has recovered from an Achilles knock to start at full-back.

Elsewhere, Michael Le Bourgeois starts at outside-centre with Malakai Fekitoa (knee) still missing and Juan de Jongh (wrist) sidelined.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged from the win at Worcester three weeks ago – while there is just one change to the pack from the side that played that day – as Thibaud Flament starts in the second-row in place of James Gaskell. The Wasps centurion has been sidelined with a foot injury and will be out for approximately eight to ten weeks, while hooker Tom Cruse misses out through illness and a calf knock.

Zurabi Zhvania (knee) and Brad Shields (foot) both return from injury to be named among the replacements and could make their first appearances since December’s trip to Edinburgh Rugby, while there’s also a place on the bench for 20-year-old centre Sam Spink, who last featured in November when he made his Premiership debut for the Club against Exeter Chiefs.

Thomas Young and Dan Robson co-captain the side once again as the Black and Golds look to continue their recent league form – having produced try-bonus point performances in each of their last three outings.

Wasps Defence Coach Ian Costello said: “If you look back at the last three games, we’ve picked up 12 points. There were three tries against Harlequins and then bonus-point tries in each of the next three games.

“It comes down to margins in these games and just to come out the right side last time out was important and hopefully this is us turning a corner and kicking on from here.

“Last year it came down to one moment against Leicester and we don’t expect it to be any different this year. It’ll be physical, it’ll be attritional and hopefully a high-quality game too.

“There’s no doubt this is an eight-pointer this weekend. We’re all scrapping for points but we have to focus on ourselves at this point and see if we can go to Welford Road and pick up another win and build the momentum that we’ve had the last little while.”

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Wasps team to face Leicester Tigers this Saturday in the Gallagher Premiership at Welford Road (kick-off 3pm)


Wasps (First-team appearances)

15 Marcus Watson (41)

14 Zach Kibirige (15)

13 Michael Le Bourgeois (29)

12 Jimmy Gopperth (92)

11 Josh Bassett (115)

10 Jacob Umaga (17)

9 Dan Robson (cc) (111)

1 Simon McIntyre (165)

2 Tommy Taylor (62)

3 Kieran Brookes (32)

4 Will Rowlands (83)

5 Thibaud Flament (12)

6 Jack Willis (50)

7 Thomas Young (cc) (110)

8 Nizaam Carr (52)

 

Replacements

16 Gabriel Oghre (16)

17 Zurabi Zhvania (33)

18 Biyi Alo (7)

19 Brad Shields (22)

20 Sione Vailanu (15)

21 Sam Wolstenholme (8)

22 Billy Searle (20)

23 Sam Spink (4)