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Wasps team for season opener

Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to face Harlequins at The Stoop in the opening game of the season this Friday, kick off 19:45.

After a lengthy pre-season period, which has included warm-up games against Samoa, Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints, as well as the Singha 7s, Wasps kick off their domestic programme away to Harlequins on Friday night.

Three new signings make their competitive debuts in black and gold, with George Smith, Jimmy Gopperth and Brendan Macken in the starting XV, while fellow new signing Dan Robson is also named among the replacements.

Dai Young and his squad are looking forward to the competitive action starting, after a long build-up to the new season, and fully expect another tight contest: "Quins versus Wasps games are always nail-biting, nervy encounters, which tend to go down to the wire," said Wasps’ Director of Rugby.

"Both teams like to play attractive, ball in hand, attacking rugby. They’re normally pretty high-scoring games and not ones that defence coaches always enjoy! Both team’s defence coaches tend to be pulling their hair out and both Conor and myself often end up biting our nails to the core because it’s normally nip and tuck.

"For the neutral supporter, they are normally great games to watch. For Wasps and Quins fans, it’s probably a little bit more nerve-wracking. But it’s a really good game for the opening night of the season.

"The Stoop has a fantastic atmosphere and Quins also have a lot of new players, so it will be interesting to see where they are at the start of the season as well. We’ve had a long pre-season, during which time we’ve had some real positives but also some things to work on, so it will be great just to get the season underway."

Wasps face a tough start to their 2015/16 Aviva Premiership campaign with Harlequins away followed by Premiership finalists Bath at home, Leicester Tigers away and Gloucester at home, before the switch to the European Champions Cup.

"It doesn’t get much tougher," added Young, "but then  the Aviva Premiership is set to be even more competitive than it was last season, and last season was the most competitive it has been to date. If you were to sit down and try to identify games you would pick to start, you’d have a headache as there aren’t any easy games at all. Any team in the league can beat any other. That’s how tight it’s going to be."

For injury news and internationals update click here

Wasps’ squad to play Harlequins at The Stoop on Friday 16 October 2015, kick off 19:45.

15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Brendan Macken
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Joe Simpson

1. Matt Mullan (c)
2. Ashley Johnson
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. James Cannon
5. James Gaskell
6. Sam Jones
7. George Smith
8. Nathan Hughes

16. Carlo Festuccia
17. Simon McIntyre
18. Phil Swainston
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Thomas Young
21. Dan Robson
22. Ruaridh Jackson
23. Sailosi Tagicakibau

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