Watson set for 50th Premiership appearance as Wasps tackle Irish
Date: 18 Oct 2019
Wasps flyer Marcus Watson is set for his 50th Premiership appearance on Sunday as the men in Black and Gold kick off their 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership campaign v London Irish at Ricoh Arena (kick-off 3pm).
Watson, who scored a hat-trick in last weekend’s Premiership Rugby Cup win over Worcester Warriors, starts at full-back for Wasps, while five players are also set for their Premiership debuts.
All Black Malakai Fekitoa will make his Premiership bow as he starts in the centres, while Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Sam Wolstenholme, Jacob Umaga and Academy forward Thibaud Flament could all make their Premiership debuts from the bench.
The back-three remains unchanged from last week with Watson, Zach Kibirige and Josh Bassett starting, while Michael Le Bourgeois partners Fekitoa in the centres. Lima Sopoaga starts alongside skipper Dan Robson in the half-back combination.
The pack sees Zurabi Zhvania, Tommy Taylor and Kieran Brookes in the front-row, with James Gaskell making his first appearance of the season in the second-row next to Charlie Matthews.
Brad Shields, Jack Willis and Sione Vailanu all keep their places in the back-row as Wasps look to make it a fourth successive opening-day league win.
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Irish will chuck everything at us on the weekend and we’re going to have to be on our mettle.
“They will have been looking forward to this from the day they went down and will want to show everyone they’re a Premiership team and have the right to be there.
“They have a decent pack of forwards, good defence and threats around the park but I believe it’s more about us than them.
“We respect them, we know how tough it’s going to be, but if we play to our potential, we will win. But we have to get consistency of performance for 80 minutes.”
Fans will also be able to enjoy Wasptoberfest before the match, with German oompah entertainment from The Bierkeller Schunklers in the Fan Village.
For all key matchday information please click here.
Tickets are available from just £19, which includes Wasptoberfest entertainment in car park D, by clicking the link below or calling 02476 786411.
Wasps team to face London Irish this Sunday in the Gallagher Premiership at Ricoh Arena (3pm)
Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Marcus Watson (32)
14 Zach Kibirige (3)
13 Malakai Fekitoa (1)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois (18)
11 Josh Bassett (107)
10 Lima Sopoaga (26)
9 Dan Robson (C) (98)
1 Zurabi Zhvania (26)
2 Tommy Taylor (51)
3 Kieran Brookes (21)
4 James Gaskell (108)
5 Charlie Matthews (17)
6 Brad Shields (17)
7 Jack Willis (39)
8 Sione Vailanu (4)
16 Tom Cruse (65)
17 Ben Harris (47)
18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen (3)
19 Thibaud Flament (3)
20 Nizaam Carr (40)
21 Sam Wolstenholme (4)
22 Jacob Umaga (10)
23 Juan de Jongh (51)