Planet Rugby

Preview: Wasps v Gloucester

15th February 2013 11:48

Share:

Stephen Jones Wasps

Stephen Jones: Back at 10 for Wasps

Wasps boss Dai Young has made two changes to his starting XV for Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester at Adams Park.

Stephen Jones starts at fly-half and Andrea Masi returns from international duty with Italy to line up at outside centre.

"We played Gloucester down at Kingsholm and lost in September and while I would like to think we are a much better side now, they have definitely improved as well," said Young.

"Stats wise they have the best scrum in the league both on their ball and on opposition ball, and they have a good line-out too so they are going to try and take us on physically.

"We need to match that up front before we can think about anything else and we recognise what a huge challenge this fixture is."

Nigel Davies has kept faith with the same starting fifteen that earned victory at Northampton last weekend, as Gloucester Rugby face another tough road trip at Wasps on Sunday.

The Cherry and Whites clinched a hard fought 27-11 win at Franklin's Gardens last Saturday in one of their best performances of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

The win saw Gloucester leapfrog Wasps in the table for a few short hours, until Dai Young's side regained fourth spot with their own impressive win at Harlequins.

So, fourth will take on fifth at Adams Park at Sunday lunchtime with both teams looking to enhance their playoff claims.

Meanwhile, the only changes to the Gloucester line-up from last week are in the replacements. Jim Hamilton is back from Scotland duty and replaces Peter Buxton, while Koree Britton, Dave Lewis and Shane Monahan come in for Tommaso d'Apice, Jimmy Cowan and Henry Trinder respectively.

Despite the win at Franklin's Gardens, Davies stressed this week that thoughts had immediately turned to Sunday's game.

"The players delivered at Northampton and we were pleased. But that was one of four big games in this block of rugby, and we've refocused straight away," he said.

"Wasps are a very good team. They've crept up from nowhere really in some respects. They're playing some really good rugby, they have some threats in their team and they work hard for each other.

"It's another big challenge, but we're in a good place to meet that challenge and we're looking forward to it."

Form: London Wasps have won their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters since tripping up 23-30 at Exeter on 1 December. Wasps' only defeat at Adams Park in the Premiership since this weekend twelve months ago was 10-14 to Newcastle in round 22 last season. Gloucester Rugby won 27-11 at Northampton last Saturday and have not won successive away games in Aviva Premiership Rugby since February 2011. Wasps have won just one of the last five clashes with Gloucester: 26-24 in this equivalent fixture last season. Gloucester's only victory at Adams Park since 2008 was 10-9 on 13 February 2011.

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Christian Wade, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Stephen Jones, 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 Matt Everard, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Elliot Daly.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (capt), 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Jonny May, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Shane Monahan, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Date: Sunday, February 17
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: Adams Park
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Ashley Rowden
Television match official: Trevor Fisher
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw
Assessor: Brian Campsall

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26