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Preview: Wasps v Sale

21st December 2012 11:25

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Elliot Daly: Moves to the wing

London Wasps boss Dai Young has made six changes to his starting XV for Sunday's Premiership clash with Sale at Adams Park.

Hugo Southwell returns to captain the side from full-back in place of Elliot Daly, who shifts to the wing while the league's top try-scorer Tom Varndell misses out due to a minor foot injury.

Up front, Zak Taulafo moves across to loose-head with Phil Swainston returning on the other side of the scrum, while T Rhys Thomas gets the nod at hooker.

Newly capped England international Joe Launchbury returns to partner Marco Wentzel in the second-row, while Ashley Johnson is also back in, packing down in the number six shirt in a strong looking back-row alongside James Haskell and Billy Vunipola.

Meanwhile, Sale hooker Marc Jones makes his first start of the season after being out injured since the first game of the season away at Exeter.

Sammy Tuitupou and Jonny Leota are reunited in the midfield for the first time since the win over London Irish on 2 November and Nick Macleod is back from injury at fly-half.

Form: London Wasps have lost only one of their last five matches in all competitions: 23-30 at Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership on December 1. Wasps have won all seven games they have played at Adams Park this season. Sale Sharks' single win in their last eleven Premiership encounters was 21-9 at home to London Irish on November 2. The Sharks' only away win in the Premiership in 2012 was 24-19 at Gloucester on April 21. Sale achieved the Aviva Premiership double over Wasps last season, whilst their overall record at Adams Park is won 4, lost 7.

The teams:

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

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Aston Croall, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Corne Uys, 23 Tom Brady.

Date: Sunday, 23 December
Venue: Adams Park
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andrew Watson, Andrew Pearce
Television match official: Geoffrey Warren

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