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Preview: Harlequins v London Wasps

07th February 2014 11:12

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NICK EASTER Harlequins

Nick Easter: Captains Quins

Harlequins number eight Nick Easter will captain his side in Sunday's Premiership clash against Wasps at the Stoop.

Easter, Nick Evans and George Robson all return to the starting line-up having been rested for both LV= Cup fixtures in recent weeks. In the backs, Jordan Turner-Hall plays his first Premiership game since hip surgery in September and he partners Tim Molenaar in the centres.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague continues as full-back with Sam Smith and Ugo Monye on the wings. Karl Dickson and Evans complete the backline at scrum-half and fly-half respectively.

In the pack, Mark Lambert and Paul Doran Jones both start, with Dave Ward making up the front row. Nick Kennedy and Robson form the second row, whilst the back row comprises Tom Guest, Maurie Fa'asavalu and Easter.

Among the replacements, last week's debutant Sam Stuart is named alongside Ben Botica and Tom Casson, who returns to action for the first time since Big Game Six.

Joe Gray, Darryl Marfo and Kyle Sinckler form the front row replacements while Charlie Matthews and Luke Wallace return from England Saxons duty to provide cover in the second row and back row respectively.

Meanwhile, Wasps boss Dai Young has made 10 changes to his team who faced Gloucester in the LV=Cup last weekend.

In the back-line, James Short makes his first appearance for the club on the wing, after joining Wasps on loan in January. Joe Simpson returns to start at scrum-half and links up with Andy Goode at pivot, while Andrea Masi retains his place in the centre after returning from injury to make his first start last weekend.

Five changes in the pack leave just Carlo Festuccia, Sam Jones and Ashley Johnson in place from the forwards that started against Gloucester last weekend.

Matt Mullan, who has returned from England duty, joins Jake Cooper-Woolley to pack down alongside Festuccia, while Tom Palmer starts alongside Kearnan Myall at lock. Jones and Johnson are joined by James Haskell, who has recovered from illness to start at seven.

On the bench, new scrum-half signing Brett Sheehan is due to make his second appearance in black and gold after making his debut last weekend.

Form: Wasps have beaten their near neighbours only once in their last nine visits - a 17-16 triumph ay the Stoop 12 months ago. However, Wasps are boosted by their recent form on the road where they have won their last three away games. Harlequins have slipped to defeat in two of their last three Aviva Premiership matches, but have won their last three home games in the tournament.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Sam Smith, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Tom Casson.

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Will Helu, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell (c), 11 James Short, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Cannon, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Date: Sunday, February 9
Venue: The Stoop
Kickoff: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees:eter Huckle, Simon Mcconnell
TMO: Sean Davey

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