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Preview: Newcastle v London Wasps

26th December 2013 12:31

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RUGBY UNION AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP POOL FOUR LONDON WASPS V BAYONNE ADAMS PARK JAMES HASKELL

Openside: James Haskell

Dai Young has named an unchanged London Wasps line-up for Friday's Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.

Young retains faith in the same XV that were edged out 17-15 by a last-gasp Stephen Myler penalty at home to Northampton Saints last week.

"The manner of the loss last weekend was tough for us to take, losing in the last play of the game is never going to be easy, but I was very proud of the way that our boys fronted up against a very powerful Northampton outfit," said Young.

"This Friday will provide a similar test; Newcastle are a very physical side who will pose us a number of threats up front as well as in the backline, which we must meet head on."

Meanwhile, Dean Richards has made four changes to his Newcastle Falcons line-up.

A new centre pairing of Jamie Helleur and James Fitzpatrick will take to the field for the crucial clash, with Helleur returning to the starting XV following a lengthy spell on the side line through injury. The Samoan international had a half-hour cameo at Exeter Chiefs last weekend to get him in the mood for the visit of Dai Young's outfit.

Warren Fury starts at scrum-half alongside Phil Godman, and skipper Will Welch is Richards' fourth and final change as he replaces Andy Saull at openside flanker.

"I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's game, and there's going to be a fantastic atmosphere at Kingston Park," said Richards.

"I hear ticket sales are going really well and we're expecting a bumper crowd so in that respect I can't wait.

"We've got a big week now with Wasps tomorrow and then Sale Sharks next week. We know they are going to be tough games, but all games in this league are competitive and we're raring to go."

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Jamie Helleur, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan 17 Franck Montanella, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Danny Barnes.

London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Will Helu, 13 Chris Bell (c), 12 Charlie Hayter, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Taione Vea, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Cannon, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Andrew Suniula.

Date: Friday 27th December
Venue: Kingston Park
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Robin Goodliffe (both Eng)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (Eng)

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3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615
6Gloucester615
7Harlequins614