Planet Rugby

Preview: Wasps v London Welsh

26th October 2012 10:46

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Hugo Southwell Wasps Aviva Premiership

Leading Wasps: Hugo Southwell

Full-back Tom Voyce will start his first match for London Welsh in Sunday's Premiership clash against his former club London Wasps at Adams Park.

Having impressed Exiles head coach Lyn Jones during a trial period, which included several Aviva 'A' League appearances, Voyce agreed a deal with the club this week and is starts in place of the injured Tom Arscott.

Voyce is one of 12 changes made by Jones to the side that provided the club with its first-ever victory in Europe, a 32-31 win over l Cavalieri Prato.

Second row Martin Purdy, who won Heineken Cup and Premiership medals during a seven-year career at Wasps, flanker Michael Hills and Seb Jewell, another former Wasp, are the only survivors from that team.

Sonny Parker returns to the Welsh starting line up at outside centre from the injury in suffered in the Exiles' defeat to Gloucester at the Kassam Stadium on September 30.

Meanwhile, Wasps boss Dai Young has made nine changes to his starting side.

In the backline, Joe Simpson starts at scrum-half after being rested last weekend, with Nick Robinson outside him at 10.

Lee Thomas and Andrea Masi get the nod in the centres, Tom Varndell and Christian Wade start on the wings, with captain Hugo Southwell at full-back.

The front row has a familiar feel, with Tim Payne at loosehead, Tom Lindsay starting at hooker and Zak Taulafo at tighthead.

Vice-captain Marco Wentzel returns to the second row after his rest last weekend, where he is joined by Joe Launchbury. Billy Vunipola also returns to this weekend's team, starting at number eight, where he is joined in the back row by Ashley Johnson and James Haskell.

Young said that this weekend's fixture at Adams Park is a chance for his team to kick on after three wins on the bounce.

"It is well-known that your home games are vitally important in this league and this weekend is no different," said Youngs.

"We are coming into this game on the back of three wins, albeit two in a different competition, and this is a chance for us to build further on that."

Form: London Wasps play in their 350 Premiership game, only Leicester, with 355 have played in more. Wasps have won 193 of those games for a 55% winning rate, a percentage again only bettered by the Tigers. The Londoners have won their last three outings in all competitions, and also won all three encounters at Adams Park this season. London Welsh ended a three game losing run with their 32-31 victory in Prato in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday. The Exiles have lost just one of their last nine away games in all competitions: 3-40 at Harlequins on 7 September. The only previous occasion that the two teams have met in a competitive match was in the quarter-final of the John Player Cup in March 1979 where Wasps won a tryless encounter, 6-3 at Sudbury.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Zak Taulafo, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Phil Swainston, 18 Fabio Staibano, 19 James Cannon, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Elliot Daly.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Voyce, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Seb Jewell, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Jonathan Mills (c), 5 Matt Corker, 4 Martin Purdy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 James Lewis, 23. Joe Ajuwa.

Date: Sunday, October 28
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Andrew Watson
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw

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