Planet Rugby

Preview: Wasps v Bath

22nd November 2013 09:11

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SKY_MOBILE Sam Jones Wasps

At openside: Sam Jones

Dai Young has named his squad to take on Bath this weekend in a return to Premiership action at Adams Park, with Sam Jones starting at seven.

Jones and Jonah Holmes, who have both shone in recent weeks in the LV= Cup, with both picking up nominations for the LV= Breakthrough Award, both start again this weekend - Holmes retaining his place on the wing with Christian Wade not quite recovering in time from a hamstring strain.

Ashley Johnson and Nathan Hughes return to the back-row while the second-row combination for this weekend are Tom Palmer and Kearnan Myall with Joe Launchbury benching following his return from England duty.

Phil Swainston makes his first Premiership start of the season and replaces Jake Cooper-Woolley who is ruled out with a groin strain.

In the backs, Josh Bassett returns to his spot on the wing, while Ben Jacobs and Chris Bell make up the centre partnership and Andy Goode and Joe Simpson are the half-backs.

"The league table will show you that Bath are one of the real threats this season, and obviously they recruited very strongly over the summer to add to an already formidable squad," said Young.

"They will come to us with a set piece that is going really well for them, a strong kicking game and some very dangerous backs so we have a big task on our hands."

Meanwhile, Bath have made just three changes to last week's winning side as they prepare to face London Wasps.

David Wilson returns from international duty to take the tighthead shirt, Peter Stringer is selected at scrum-half and Semesa Rokoduguni slots back in on the wing.

Wilson joins Nathan Catt and Rob Webber in the front-row, with Stuart Hooper and Dave Attwood continuing in the boiler room. Leroy Houston controls the base of the scrum at number eight, with Matt Garvey and Carl Fearns on the flanks.

Stringer renews his half-back partnership with George Ford, whilst Matt Banahan lines up on the opposite wing to Rokoduguni. Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph link up in the midfield once more, as Nick Abendanon retains his place at full-back.

Form: London Wasps solo defeat in their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was 12-19 at Saracens in Round 5. The Londoners have been victorious in both of their home games played at Adams Park in the tournament this campaign. Bath Rugby have won their last six matches in all tournaments since Sale beat them 19-13 in the Premiership at Salford on 4th October. Bath have not won four successive away games in all tournaments since 2006. The last four encounters between the two clubs have all been won by the home since on the day, whilst Bath have been victorious at Adams Park just once since 2005: 27-23 in the Premiership on 1 Oct 2008.

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Chris Bell (capt), 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 James Haskell, 21 Guy Thompson, 22 Charlie Davies, 23 Joe Carlisle.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Anthony Watson.

Date: Sunday, November 24
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Paul Dix
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw
Television match official: Sean Davey
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury

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