Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v London Wasps

20th March 2014 10:11

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Euan Murray Worcester Aviva Premiership

Back for Worcester: Euan Murray

Scotland international Euan Murray returns to the Worcester side to face London Wasps at Sixways on Friday.

The tighthead lines up alongside Ofa Fainga'anuku and Agustin Creevy in the front-row as Warriors search for their first league win of the season.

Winger Josh Drauniniu also returns to the side in place of the injured Dean Hammond whilst the rest of the starting line-up remains unchanged from the narrow defeat at Harlequins in Round 16.

Mike Williams keeps his place in the back-row next to Sam Betty and Jonathan Thomas, whilst James Percival and Mariano Galarza occupy the second-row.

Jonny Arr starts at scrum-half whilst Ryan Lamb keeps his place at stand-off alongside Ravai Fatiaki and Alex Grove in the centre. David Lemi starts on the left wing with Chris Pennell at full-back.

Andy Symons is named in the replacements and could be in line to make his first Warriors appearance since December after being sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Richard de Carpentier and Ignacio Mieres are also recalled to the squad for the crucial encounter.

"We know we stare at relegation if we can't win at Newcastle and winning against Wasps is the key to being successful at Kingston Park," said Director of Rugby Dean Ryan.

"Relegation has sat heavy over the club since losing to London Irish and Newcastle at home early in the season. The stakes are that high."

"Ryan Lamb coming in has given a bit of direction and a bit of freshness to the squad. Some guys have also grown in confidence because they're part of the picture going forward and there has been a response from them. Those sorts of things have allowed us to stay reasonably buoyant."

"I don't think the winning a game pressure is an issue. It's the magnitude of not winning the game which is the suffocating pressure."

"The most important focus for us now isn't that we are running out of time and games."

"It's that pure focus of winning at Kingston Park which will be easier if we can get a win under our belts this Friday."

Meanwhile, Wasps boss Dai Young has named a strong side to travel to the midlands, which includes Joe Launchbury, Matt Mullan and Andrea Masi, who all return to black and gold having been on international duty for the Six Nations.

Form: The Warriors have not won in the Premiership since they beat Wasps in this equivalent fixture last season, also coincidentally a round 17 encounter. 16 defeats from 16 games for Dean Ryan's troops does not make for pretty reading but they came so close against Harlequins last time out in the league, eventually going down 21-20. Wasps are hardly firing on all cylinders either at the moment with five defeats from their last five in all competitions.

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Sam Betty, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 James Percival, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Paul Andrew, 18 Rob O'Donnell, 19 Semisi Taulava, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Andy Symons.

London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 James Short, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Ricky Reeves, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Tom Palmer, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Date: Friday 21th March
Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 1945 (local & GMT)
Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Paul Dix (both RFU)
TMO: David Grashoff (RFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:00
Toulouse vs Stade Francais18:00
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Grenoble18:00
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411