Young set for 100th Wasps appearance at Big Game 11
Date: 28 Dec 2018
Thomas Young will become a Wasps centurion on Saturday as his side travel to Twickenham to face Harlequins in Big Game 11 (kick-off 4pm).
The Welsh flanker will make his 100th appearance in the Black and Gold, as part of a powerful back row which includes Springbok Nizaam Carr and England international Brad Shields, who is set to captain the side for the first time.
Meanwhile, Director of Rugby Dai Young has handed Michele Campagnaro his first Wasps start at outside centre next to Michael Le Bourgeois, with Elliot Daly moving out to the wing alongside Willie Le Roux and Josh Bassett in the back three. Ross Neal misses out with a hip knock.
Dan Robson gets his first start since picking up an injury against Gloucester Rugby in October and he will partner All Black Lima Sopoaga in the half-back pairing.
In the front row Ashley Johnson is ruled out with an abdominal injury so Tom Cruse
starts for his 49th Wasps appearance at hooker alongside props Ben Harris and Jake Cooper-Woolley.
Will Rowlands and Kearnan Myall continue in the second row with Joe Launchbury missing out having sustained a neck knock in training this week. James Gaskell remains sidelined with a back/hamstring injury.
Antonio Harris comes into the replacements while tighthead Will Stuart steps in for Kieran Brookes, who suffered a significant ankle syndesmosis injury last time out.
Back row Ben Morris comes into the 23 as Nathan Hughes has flown out to Fiji due to a family bereavement. Juan de Jongh also returns to the squad.
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “The players are hurting after last weekend. We felt like we let the support down.
“We want to see a reaction from the players against Quins on the big stage. Everyone wants to play in a big occasion such as this.
“It’s my responsibility and all I want the players to do is concentrate on getting their performances right and getting back to how we know we can play.
“Quins can beat anyone on their day. They are an abrasive team and have threats all across the board.
“They have a strong pack and they have plenty of quality within their ranks to carve you to shreds if you don’t get things right.”
Wasps team to face Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday 29 December (kick-off 4pm)
Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Willie Le Roux (44)
14 Josh Bassett (90)
13 Michele Campagnaro (2)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois (13)
11 Elliot Daly (185)
10 Lima Sopoaga (13)
9 Dan Robson (91)
1 Ben Harris (33)
2 Tom Cruse (48)
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley (120)
4 Will Rowlands (62)
5 Kearnan Myall (128)
6 Brad Shields (c) (6)
7 Thomas Young (99)
8 Nizaam Carr (22)
16 Antonio Harris (12)
17 Zurabi Zhvania (12)
18 Will Stuart (21)
19 Charlie Matthews (7)
20 Ben Morris (9)
21 Craig Hampson (25)
22 Billy Searle (9)
23 Juan de Jongh (35)