Four new signings have been named in Wasps match day squad to take on Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, in round one of the Aviva Premiership (3pm kick off).
Tommy Taylor, Marty Moore and Matt Symons are in line to make their competitive Wasps debuts, while Danny Cipriani returns to Wasps starting line-up roughly six-years on from his last appearance, forming the half-back partnership with Dan Robson.
Fly-half Jimmy Gopperth lines up at inside centre, providing another playmaker in Wasps midfield alongside Elliot Daly, with injuries ruling out Kyle Eastmond, Alapati Leiua and Kurtley Beale at 12.
Wasps back three has a more familiar look, made up of Rob Miller, Christian Wade and Josh Bassett, who have all impressed during pre-season.
James Gaskell forms the second row partnership with skipper Joe Launchbury, and is raring to go for his first competitive start after a six-month injury lay-off, (foot injury picked up against Newcastle in February.)
Lining up alongside Nathan Hughes and Sam Jones in the backrow, Guy Thompson makes his first competitive appearance since injury struck against Toulon in the Champions Cup in January.
Matt Mullan and Phil Swainston provide the foundations up front, while Jake Cooper-Woolley misses out with injury.
Looking ahead to the challenge Wasps are preparing for on Sunday, Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We know each other pretty well after a number of meetings last season. We just edged it against Exeter in the European Quarter Final, but they knocked us out in the Premiership Semi Final and beat us at home in the league last season, so we know how tough an outfit they are and have huge respect for what Rob Baxter and his squad have achieved over the past few seasons, deservedly reaching the Premiership Final.
“Exeter bring a lot of intensity in defence and their attack is exceptional, especially when they get into your 22. Any small slip-ups will be punished, so we need to make sure we take our attack to them, but are disciplined in what we do.
“The players are itching for competitive rugby to start after a tough pre-season, including games against Yorkshire Carnegie and Bristol Rugby, and both sides will be determined to hit the ground running. I’ve no doubt this will be the tightest, most competitive Aviva Premiership yet.”
Tickets are available from £16 and Under 10s go free. You can purchase tickets online at wasps.co.uk/tickets by calling 02476 786411 or at the Ricoh Arena ticket office.
Wasps team for Exeter Chiefs
2. Tommy Taylor
4.Joe Launchbury ©
Unavailable for selection through injury:
Forwards – Jake Cooper-Woolley, James Haskell, Kearnan Myall, Thomas Young
Backs – Guy Armitage, Kurtley Beale, Kyle Eastmond, Alapati Leiua
Willie Le Roux – to arrive February from Cannon Eagles, Japan.