WASPS TEAM FOR LEINSTER
Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to take on Leinster Rugby in a European quarter final decider at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday, (KO 3.15pm).
James Haskell and Joe Launchbury return to the starting line-up, while Nathan Hughes and Jake Cooper-Woolley have also returned from injury and are named on the bench.
Hughes is set to make his first appearance for Wasps since picking up a calf injury in the away win at Bath and Wasps are also boosted by the return of tighthead Cooper-Woolley, who has missed Wasps’ last five games.
Sam Jones moves from the blindside flank to number 8, while last Sunday’s Man of the Match, Guy Thompson, has been side-lined by the toe injury picked up against Toulon. Having seen a specialist this week, Thompson is unfortunately due to be out for approximately 10-12 weeks.
In the backline, there are starts for former Leinster centre Brendan Macken and winger Josh Bassett. Sailosi Tagicakibau, Ben Jacobs and Simon McIntyre have all been ruled out of the Quarter Final decider through injuries picked up against Toulon last Sunday. Tom Bristow comes onto the bench, ready to make his third appearance for Wasps.
Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Last Sunday was Test Match intensity and a six day turnaround is always tough, so this week has been more about rest and recuperation, making sure we arrive at the Ricoh with a full tank, ready to give it our total focus and hit the ground running.
“There’s a European quarter final at stake on Saturday and I’m sure Leinster will want to come and spoil the party. They were pretty upset after we won in Dublin and I’m sure they will come here wanting to put the record straight. We know we are playing against a wounded animal and you don’t win three European titles by accident. Leinster have a quality squad with internationals throughout, so we know how tough it’s going to be. The big thing for us is to finish strong, with a mentality that only a win will do – it’s a real cup final for us.
We‘re hoping our Wasps fans will be really vocal again on Saturday. I can’t speak highly enough of the support we have received all season, particularly at the Ricoh Arena but also last week away in Toulon. That was something special. Walking into the ground alongside our Wasps’ supporters was amazing, the noise they made throughout the game was outstanding and certainly the appreciation our fans showed the boys after the game when they stayed to applaud the players back onto the bus, was amazing. We really thank them for that and ask for the same again during a crucial match for the club. The boys will certainly take their support into this quarter final decider and will want to finish the job as much for them as for us.”
Tickets are available from just £15 and Under 10s go free in many areas. To purchase tickets, log on to our ticketing page call us on 02476 786411, or visit us at the Ricoh Arena Ticket Office.
To all Wasps fans who welcomed Wasps’ team bus in Toulon, thank you (watch below)! It makes a huge difference to the squad so same again on Saturday please! Team bus arrives at South entrance of the Ricoh Arena at 1.55pm. See you there!