Preview: Wasps v London Welsh

Date published: November 14 2014

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has named his team to take on London Welsh at Adams Park on Sunday in the Aviva Premiership.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has named his team to tackle London Welsh at Adams Park on Sunday in Round 7 of the Aviva Premiership.

Edd Shervington starts at hooker while James Haskell leads from the openside in a back-row alongside Nathan Hughes and Ashley Johnson.

Chris Bell and Elliot Daly make up the centres while Sailosi Tagicakibau, Christian Wade and Rob Miller are in a dangerous back-three.

“This is a massive game for us in the Aviva Premiership against London Welsh,” said Young ahead of Sunday’s home Premiership meeting.

“They’ve shown glimpses this season of causing teams problems. At some stage things are going to click for them and they will get that all-important first win under their belt. We must make sure that’s not against us this weekend.

“I need to ensure the squad’s attitude is 100 percent right, replicating the type of attitude we had coming into the Northampton and Bath games, otherwise this could be a real banana skin for us.”

He added: “There are so many connections between the Clubs, so I think there will be huge incentive and motivation within the London Welsh camp to get a win against Wasps. For all intents and purposes they could view this game as a cup final.

“This is an important period of games coming up, with London Welsh, Exeter and Leicester, followed by back-to-back games against Castres. These are five games which will either put us in the mix in each competition, or will put us under pressure. So we’ve really got to get our performances right and make the next few weeks count.”

Meanwhile, new London Welsh signings Chris Hala’ufia and Opeti Fonua have both been named in the matchday squad for the Exiles.

Hala’ufia, who made two appearances for Welsh last month during a two-week loan period, is named at number eight in one of seven changes from the Exiles’ starting line-up which faced Gloucester last Sunday in the LV= Cup. Fonua is named among the replacements.

In the backs, Seb Jewell returns at full-back and Rob Lewis comes in at scrum=half to make what will be his 93rd league appearance for London Welsh.

In the forwards, Pablo Henn and Taione Vea are named in the front-row, while club captain Matt Corker partners James Down in the second-row. Lachlan McCaffrey returns to the side at openside flanker for his first appearance since Harlequins on October 4.

Form: Wasps play their 131st and final Premiership Rugby encounter at Adams Park since their debut at the venue against Bristol in 2002. Wasps last ten fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won but the home side on the day. London Welsh have lost all ten matches they have played in all competitions in 2014/15 with their only league point being a try bonus gained when losing 26-53 at Bath in round 2 of Aviva Premiership Rugby. The two sides have met on three previous occasions in all tournaments with Wasps victorious each time, including at 29-19 victory on the Exiles only previous visit to Adams Park in October 2012.

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell (c), 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 James Cannon, 3 Jake Cooper Wooley, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Kearnan Myall/Will Rowlands, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Tom Bliss, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Tom Varndell.

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Nick Scott, 10 Will Robinson, 9 Rob Lewis, 8 Chris Hala’ufia, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Peter Browne, 5 James Down, 4 Matt Corker, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Pablo Henn.
Replacements: 16 Shane Cahill, 17 Nathan Vella, 18 Ben Cooper, 19 Opeti Fonua, 20 Ben Pienaar, 21 Paul Rowley, 22 Gordon Ross, 23 Alan Awcock.

Date: Sunday, November 16
Venue: Adams Park, Wycombe
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant referee: Roy Maybank, Paul Dix