Preview: Leeds v London Wasps

Date published: October 29 2010

Leeds have made four changes to their team for this Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash with London Wasps at Headingley Carnegie.

Leeds have made four changes to their team for this Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash with London Wasps at Headingley Carnegie.

Two of the changes are enforced with Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie unavailable due to England call-ups. Andy Titterrell comes in for Thompson whilst Rhys Oakley will start in place of Fourie.

The other two changes come in the backline. Scott Barrow will make his 50th appearance for the club in the centre after replacing James Tincknell whilst Henry Fa'afili, who came on as a replacement against Sale last week, comes in for Lee Blackett.

There is a welcome return from injury for Alfie To'oala on the bench whilst Leigh Hinton also earns a recall to the bench.

Meanwhile, the following Wasps players have been ruled out of selection this weekend due to injury: Bob Baker (Glandular Fever), Charlie Beech (ankle), Richard Birkett (elbow/nose), Tom French (chest), Charlie Davies (concussion), Riki Flutey (calf/EPS), Richard Haughton (chest), Will Matthews (glute strain), Simon Shaw (calf/EPS), Phil Vickery (retired), Christian Wade (hand) and Dave Walder (knee).

With Walder out, after sustaining the knee injury last weekend, Mark Van Gisbergen moves to fly-half – a position he has frequented since joining Wasps, starting 16 games in the number 10 shirt.

Ben Jacobs moves to full-back in place of Van Gisbergen and a centre partnership of Dominic Waldouck, released by England this week, and Steve Kefu, who collects his first start of the season, is formed.

In the front row Tim Payne, also back on club duty, is joined by hooker Joe Ward and Ben Broster. Ward and Broster trade places with Rob Webber and Zak Taulafo on the bench.

After training with England this week, in place of the injured Simon Shaw, Dan Ward-Smith retains his place in the second row and is joined by Marty Veale who also makes his first start of the season.

An unchanged back row of Joe WorsIey, captain Tom Rees and Andy Powell is named, with Worsley available for club selection this weekend.

On the bench Jason Hobson receives his second inclusion in the matchday 23 after some strong performances in the A League. Fly-half Seb Jewell and full-back Jack Wallace are also named to gain their first inclusion in the senior side this season.

“There has been a lot of soul searching this week after a disappointing display and result against Northampton Saints,” said Wasps Director of Rugby Tony Hanks.

“There is no hiding from that disappointment and our focus has been to train hard and ensure we put out a strong performance against Leeds on Sunday.

“We know that is no easy task. They are the only side to do the double over us last season and we have a great deal of respect for their squad and coaching team.”

Form: London Wasps suffered their worst home defeat since 2004 when Northampton visited Adams Park on Sunday, however Wasps won their most recent away game in the Premiership 25-24 at Sale on 1 October. Leeds achieved a Premiership double over Wasps for the first time ever last season, whilst Wasps have won on six of their last seven visits to Headingley.

The teams:

Leeds: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Michael Stephenson, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Henry Fa'afili, 10 Lachlan MacKay, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Rhys Oakley, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Tom Denton, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Gareth Hardy.
Replacements: 16 Phil Nilsen, 17 Miguel Alonso, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Danny Paul, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Lee Blackett, 23 Leigh Hinton.

London Wasps: 15 Ben Jacobs, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 David Lemi, 10 Mark Van Gisbergen, 9 Joe Simpson8 Andy Powell, 7 Tom Rees (c), 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Dan Ward-Smith, 4 Marty Veale, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Jason Hobson, 19 James Cannon, 20 Serge Betsen, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Seb Jewell, 23 Jack Wallace.

Date: Sunday, 31 October
Venue: Headingley Carnegie,
Kick-off: 15:00