Preview: Ospreys v Wasps

Date published: February 4 2011

London Wasps have made ten changes to their side for the LV=Cup clash with Ospreys at Bridgend on Sunday.

London Wasps have made ten changes to their side for the LV=Cup clash with Ospreys at Bridgend on Sunday.

The game marks the last round of LV=Cup group games and a win for Wasps could see them through to the knockout stages of the competition.

Hanks makes ten changes to the starting line up that lost to Harlequins in last weekend's fixture as Mark Van Gisbergen, Riki Flutey and Dave Walder return in the back line and Charlie Davies starts at scrum-half. Shaun Ruwers, Joe Launchbury, James Cannon, John Hart, Serge Betsen and Joe Ward, who is also named as captain, all start in the pack.

Joe Launchbury and John Hart both make their first starts this season. John Hart returns after a long-term injury and Joe Launchbury starts after making a strong impact off of the bench last weekend.

Charlie Beech, Marty Veale, Sam Jones, Mark Atkinson and Jack Wallace all drop to the bench whilst Jonah Holmes comes onto the bench as a scrum half replacement.

With Ben Jacobs rested, Riki Flutey starts at inside centre and Dom Waldouck moves to outside centre. Dave Walder returns in the 10 jersey to replace Mark Atkinson who moves to the bench. Mark Van Gisbergen returns to full back, forcing Jack Wallace to the bench while Richard Haughton and Tom Varndell retaining their places on the wings.

Charlie Davies replaces the injured Nic Berry at scrum half and Jonah Holmes fills the replacement scrum half position on the bench.

Billy Vunipola and Ben Broster are the only forwards to retain their place in the side from last weekend. Shaun Ruwers and Joe Ward, who is named as captain, join Ben Broster to make up the front row and Joe Launchbury and James Cannon start in the second row. John Hart and Serge Betsen, starting at 6 and 7 respectively, join Billy Vunipola, at 8, in the back row.

20 of the 23 of this week's playing squad qualify to play for England which, with Simon Shaw, Joe Worsley, Joe Simpson, Elliot Daly and Christian Wade all away on England duty, shows a real commitment to producing English talent.

Looking ahead to the game Hanks said, “After the Abu Dhabi experience of last week, which was fantastic to be involved in and, as a club and a team, we achieved a lot in, we were ultimately disappointed with the performance and the loss to Quins. This week is another chance for a lot of our younger players to show that they have learned from the experience.”

Meanwhile, Ospreys Director of Coaching Scott Johnson said this was an important time of the season.

These players, the young kids involved in the LV= Cup group are our future, and it's important that we get them well drilled in the basics of what it is to be an Osprey, on and off the field, and what is expected of them,” he said.

“They are showing good signs of coming together as a team and that is crucial. For us to succeed moving forward, for the Ospreys to even begin to achieve what we want to, then it's important that we build a team here, one that plays for the shirt and for each other. Everyone has to know their role, what we want from them, and what their teammates want from them. Without that, we can forget success.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dai Flanagan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Tom Smith, 7 Justin Tipuric (C), 6 James King, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Craig Cross, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Cai Griffiths,
Replacements:16 Mefin Davies, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Joe Rees,19 Marty Holah, 20 Jerry Collins, 21 Jamie Nutbrown, 22 Dan Biggar. 23 Sonny Parker

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 John Hart, 5 James Cannon, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward (c), 1 Shaun Ruwers.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Marty Veale, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Jonah Holmes, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Jack Wallace

Date: Sunday, February 6
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Brewery Field, Bridgend
Referee: Dean Richards (England)