Planet Rugby

Preview: Wasps v Biarritz

06th April 2012 13:34

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Christian Wade

Back for Wasps: Christian Wade

Wasps will do battle with Biarritz for a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals at Adams Park on Saturday.

Wasps are looking to preserve their good record over French teams at Adams Park this season having taken on and beaten Bayonne and Bordeaux already in High Wycombe in this competition.

Biarritz travel to England on the back of a season reviving four wins in a row in the Top 14 - and with the kind of experience and fire-power that will present plenty of problems for the home side.

The Frenchmen were one of three Pool runners-up in the Heineken Cup who joined forces with the five Pool winners in the Amlin Challenge Cup to make up the last eight.

There are five changes to the Wasps starting team, while Director of Rugby Dai Young has been forced into a six/two forwards and backs split on the bench due to injuries and eligibility for this competition.

In the backs, Christian Wade, who has been in full training for a number of weeks, is brought straight into the side on the wing while Charlie Davies replaces Nic Berry who is ruled out this weekend. Wade, who has already grabbed three tries in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season, returns after three months out with injury.

In the front-row Zak Taulafo and Vladislav Korshunov start, having finished the game strongly off the bench last weekend, while Matt Everard comes into the back-row and Sam Jones moves to number 8.

The starting line-up has a youthful look to it again with six players (Wade, Daly, Davies, Everard, Launchbury and Jones) aged 21 or under.

Biarrit are without veteran French international Damien Traille, meaning Australian Dane Haylett-Petty switches from full-back to midfield.

Influential scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili will captain side as fellow French international Imanol Harinordoquy is on the bench.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Elliott Daly, 12 Ryan Davis, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Matt Everard, 6 Joe Launchbury, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 James Cannon, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Vladislav Korshunov, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 James Harris, 21 Jack Wallace, 22 Tom Prydie, 23 Tom Lindsay,

Biarritz Olympique: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Charles Gimenez, 12 Dane Haylett-Petty, 11 Benoît Baby, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Dimitri Yachvili (capt), 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Benoit Guyot, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Eugène Van Staden, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Yvan Watremez.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Sylvain Marconnet, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Jean-Baptiste Roidot, 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, 21 Florian Faure, 22 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 23 Marcelo Bosch,

Date: Saturday, April 7
Venue: Adams Park, High Wycombe
Kick-off: 12:30 BST (11.30 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey

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