Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Wasps

08th February 2013 12:35

Share:

Joe Gray Harlequins AVP 2013

Joe Gray: Starts at hooker for Quins

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has rung the changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash against Wasps at the Stoop.

There are a number of alterations to the team that defeated the Ospreys last weekend to secure a home semi-final in the LV= Cup.

Joe Gray, George Robson, Ugo Monye, George Lowe, Jordan Turner-Hall and Rob Buchanan return to the side following international duty with the England Saxons, while Tom Williams, Nick Evans and captain, Nick Easter start.

Meanwhile, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has named a strong and exciting side to face the league leaders this weekend.

Billy Vunipola returns from his time with England to take his place in the side, starting at eight, flanked by Ashley Johnson at six and Sam Jones at seven.

At lock, vice-captain Marco Wentzel lines up alongside James Cannon, while in the front row, T Rhys Thomas starts at hooker, with Zak Taulafo and Phil Swainston either side of him.

The back-line has an exciting feel about it, having been boosted this week by the return of a number of players who were included in the England Saxons squad.

Joe Simpson starts at nine, with Nick Robinson outside him at fly half, while Chris Bell and Elliot Daly pair up in midfield. Christian Wade and Tom Varndell take their places on the wings, with captain Hugo Southwell at full-back.

On the bench, Alex Rae is included in the squad after signing for the club this week. Charlie Hayter also gets a spot on the bench, having impressed during the recent LV=Cup games.

"There has been a good atmosphere around the place this week in leading up to the first Aviva Premiership game in over a month," said Young.

"Harlequins are a side who tend to negotiate the international periods very well so we know how tough a task we will have on Saturday night.

"They showed us how quickly they can change a game on the opening day of the season and we will have to be at our best to get a result this weekend."

Form: Harlequins are now on a ten match winning streak in all competitions, and have won their last seven encounters at the Twickenham Stoop. The reigning Aviva Premiership Rugby champions are once again the form team in the tournament (along with Leicester) with both sides securing 22 league points from their last six games. London Wasps only loss in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was at Exeter, 23-30, on 1 December. Wasps 34-15 victory at London Welsh in round twelve ended an unwanted twelve-game losing run away from home in the Premiership. Harlequins have won their last six fixtures against Wasps in all tournaments. Wasps have not won at the Twickenham Stoop since a visit in the Premiership on 10 March 2007.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Matt Hopper, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Jordan Turner-Hall.

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Alex Rae, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Date: Saturday, 9 February
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Nigel Carrick
Television match official: Geoffrey Warren

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00