Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Wasps

27th April 2007 11:55

Share:

Joe Worsley

Leader: Joe Worsley will skipper Wasps at Welford Road

London Wasps boss Ian McGeechan makes three changes to his XV as the European Cup finalists prepare to play Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday in pursuit of a top-four place in the Guinness Premiership.

Following last weekend's physical confrontation with Northampton Saints that saw Wasps book a place at Twickenham to face Leicester in the Heineken Cup Final, Lawrence Dallaglio is rested so James Haskell takes over at number eight and Worsley picks up the captain's armband.

In the other two changes, Joe Ward wins a start at hooker and Josh Lewsey returns to the XV at centre in place of the rested Dominic Waldouck.

Ward's promotion means Raphaël Ibañez takes a turn on the bench, where Richard Birkett and Ayoola Erinle join him in the absence of Dallaglio and Waldouck.

Alex King also misses out on selection as he continues to work on his problematic knee.

"We have had four massive games in the last month and this weekend is the same again - they don't get much bigger than playing Leicester at Leicester," said McGeechan.

"We have got to achieve something on Saturday that we haven't done before, and that's play well enough to come out with a win. The squad are in good shape though and we are in a position to be selecting from strength for this game."

Meanwhile, Marcos Ayerza returns to the Leicester's pack for the game.

The Argentinian prop, who has made such an impression in his first season at the club, returns after having his suspension for striking Stade Français star Remy Martin reduced from 21 to 18 days.

Going into the final round of games in the regular league season, both sides are still chasing a place in the Premiership play-offs and an exciting day is in prospect at Welford Road.

Seru Rabeni is recalled on the wing and Sam Vesty starts at centre after injury to Daryl Gibson, as head coach Pat Howard includes 12 of the side that started last weekend's Heineken Cup semi-final victory over Llanelli Scarlets.

Geordan Murphy is at full-back, with Rabeni and Alesana Tuilagi on the wings, and Dan Hipkiss outside Vesty in the centres. Andy Goode and Harry Ellis continue their partnership at half-back.

Ayerza in for Alex Moreno is the only change in the pack following the win over the Scarlets, with George Chuter and Julian White in the front row, Louis deacon and Ben Kay forming an all-England second row, and skipper Martin Corry joined by Lewis Moody and Shane Jennings in the back row.

On the bench, there are places for James Buckland, James Hamilton and Ollie Smith, who made his return from injury in the midweek trip to Bristol.

Form: Leicester Tigers lost 13-30 at Bristol on Tuesday evening, only the second time this season that the Tigers have recorded no league points from a match. Leicester need just a point to guarantee a place in the semi-finals but need to win to ensure that the match would be played at Welford Road. London Wasps only loss in their last seven matches in all competitions was 13-16 at London Irish in the Guinness Premiership on 18 March. Wasps have won just one away game in the Premiership since September, 23-16 at Harlequins on 10 March. Effectively Wasps need to win and also hope other results go their way to make the semi-finals. The two teams, who may well meet three times in the next four weeks, will contest the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham on 20 May. Leicester have won the last two contests against Wasps.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Seru Rabeni, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Martin Corry (c), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Lewis Moody, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Julian White, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Alex Moreno, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Frank Murphy, 21 Ollie Smith, 22 Tom Varndell.

London Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Josh Lewsey, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 James Haskell, 7 Tom Rees, 6 Joe Worsley (c), 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Peter Bracken, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Phil Vickery.

Replacements: 16 Raphaël Ibañez, 17 Nick Adams, 18 Richard Birkett, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Mark McMillan, 21 Ayoola Erinle, 22 Dave Walder.

Date: Saturday, 28 April

Kick-off: 15:05 (14:05 GMT)

Venue: Welford Road

Referee: Tony Spreadbury

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Ashley Reay

Television match official: Brian Abrahams

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615