Preview: Harlequins v Wasps

Date published: September 19 2014

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Super Rugby winner Asaeli Tikoirotuma will make his Premiership debut for Harlequins in Saturday's clash with Wasps at the Stoop.

Super Rugby winner Asaeli Tikoirotuma will make his Premiership debut for Harlequins in Saturday's clash with Wasps at the Stoop.

There are four changes to the Quins starting team that was thrashed by Saracens last weekend.

Ben Botica starts at fly-half, replacing Nick Evans who picked up a knock last week. Evans is expected to be out for a couple of weeks.

Harry Sloan is named in the centres partnering Jordan Turner-Hall. Sloan replaces Matt Hopper who misses this match due to a hand injury; he is hopeful of a return against Exeter Chiefs.

Fiji international Tikoirotuma makes his debut on the left wing, as Ollie Lindsay-Hague is named among the replacements.

The one change to the forward pack sees Dave Ward starting at hooker.

Meanwhile, Wasps boss Dai Young has named made four changes to the side that beat Northampton Saints last weekend.

In the pack, Kearnan Myall starts in the second row after impressing from the bench last weekend, with James Gaskell moving to the bench.

Tom Lindsay is named at hooker with Carlo Festuccia ruled out after picking up an injury last weekend and Guy Thompson gets a start in the back row, packing down at openside, shifting James Haskell to six and Ashley Johnson moving to the bench.

In the backline the sole change sees the return of Christian Wade to the starting team, with Tom Varndell retaining his place on the other wing.

“The training ground has been a very positive place this week; everyone was very pleased with the result last weekend and the players are really keen to back that win up with another good performance this weekend,” said Young.

“We all know that the Stoop is a tough place to go and win, so we are under no illusions about the task in hand. There will undoubtedly be a reaction from them after their loss to Saracens last weekend. Harlequins are a good side and that wasn't an accurate reflection of where they are, so we know we are up against it this weekend.”

Form: Last Friday, at the Twickenham Stoop, Harlequins were held scoreless in a game for the first time since the 2009 Premiership semi-final against London Irish. Interestingly 'Quins also began the 2013/14 Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign with losses in their first two home games. Wasps defeated reigning champions Northampton Saints at Adams Park on Sunday, but their solitary away victory in the Premiership so far in 2014 was on their trip to Worcester on 21st March. Wasps have beaten Harlequins just once in their last ten fixtures in all competitions since 2009, 17-16 at The Stoop in the Premiership in February 2013. This victory was Wasps only one at Harlequins' home ground since 2007.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Harry Sloan, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 George Merrick, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Louis Grimoldby, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague

Wasps: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Alapati Leiua

Date: Saturday, September 20
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15.00 BST (14.00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Gordon Goodliffe
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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