Planet Rugby

Preview: Wasps v Leicester

23rd November 2012 10:30

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Nicky Robinson Bath v Wasps

Nick Robinson: Back from injury

After time out with injury, both Joe Simpson and Nick Robinson return to Wasps' starting XV for Sunday's Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers.

There is also good news in the back row with Jonathan Poff returning from injury to take the starting seven shirt, alongside Ashley Johnson at blindside and Billy Vunipola at eight.

Phil Swainston will earn his first Premiership start, lining up in the front row alongside Tim Payne and T Rhys Thomas. James Cannon and Marco Wentzel start in the second row.

Outside Simpson and Robinson, Chris Bell and Elliot Daly are paired in the centres, with flyers Christian Wade and Tom Varndell on the wings and captain Hugo Southwell at fullback.

Young prop Will Taylor and London Scottish loanee Josh Brown are included on the bench having impressed in the LV=Cup and are both in line for their first Aviva Premiership appearance if they feature.

Director of Rugby Dai Young expects a difficult assignment.

"We know that we have a tough task ahead of us this weekend," he said.

"Leicester have a very strong squad of players and despite having some members of that squad away on international duty they have quality players who can come in.

"Our form and results at Adams Park have been very encouraging and the players will be doing their utmost to keep that going this Sunday."

Meanwhile, Anthony Allen and Thomas Waldrom go straight into the starting line-up for Leicester on their return from England duty.

Waldrom played for England in the opening two Tests of the autumn but returns to the Tigers No8 shirt this weekend, while EPS member Allen starts at centre for the trip to Adams Park.

Fellow England internationals George Chuter, Louis Deacon, Jordan Crane and Mathew Tait are also included in the Tigers line-up.

Club captain Geordan Murphy is named among the replacements after missing the last three games, and prop Michael Holford is included in the matchday 23 as Tigers are without international front rows Dan Cole, Martin Castrogiovanni and Marcos Ayerza, and the suspended Boris Stankovich.

Form: London Wasps last seven matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. Wasps have a 100% winning record at Adams Park in all competitions this season. Leicester Tigers last seven competitive games have also all been won by the home side on the day. Tigers have slipped to three straight away defeats but haven't lost four in a row on the road since 2009. The last seven games between the two sides have all been won by the home team, whilst Leicester have not won at Adams Park since 2007.

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Josh Brown, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Lee Thomas.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jordan Crane, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 George Chuter, 1 Jonny Harris.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Michael Holford, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Patrick Phibbs, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Geordan Murphy.

Date: Sunday, November 25
Kick-off: 14:30
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey Kevin Stewart
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Timekeeper: Bob Ockenden
Assessor: Ed Morrison

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Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411