TOP BAR - Fixtures

Wasps team to face Bath Rugby

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Bath on Saturday in Round 13 of the Aviva Premiership (KO 15:00).

Ben Jacobs again starts at 12 after impressive displays in recent weeks, and forms a new centre partnership with Alapati Leiua. Elliot Daly moves to the bench, having been unable to train fully this week due to a dead leg.

In the pack, Wasps are able to rotate, with England international Matt Mullan returning to the front row alongside Lorenzo Cittadini and Carlo Festuccia, who continues on his comeback trail having returned from an ankle injury against Gloucester on 27 December. Edd Shervington comes onto the bench after impressing in performances this season.

In the back row, Sam Jones comes in at blindside flanker, alongside Nathan Hughes and James Haskell, having impressed each time he’s come off the bench this season. Ashley Johnson moves to the replacements, having played the most rugby of any Wasp player this season.  

Dai Young said: "I’m really pleased with where the squad is at this stage of the season, having strength in depth to be able to rotate players in key areas.

"Si McIntyre and James Gaskell played really well last weekend, but it’s great to be in a position to start Matt Mullan in the front row and Kearnan Myall in the second row this weekend. Similarly in the back row, we are able to give Ashley a bit of a rest, starting on the bench, as he has played so much rugby already this season. Sam has played really well and deserves his start.

"It’s about managing the squad to make sure we are highly competitive in each game, but are also looking after players so they are still fully fit at the end of the season."

Sitting in fourth spot in the Aviva Premiership table coming into the game, Young is happy with Wasps current standing, but is also aware the season is barely past the half-way stage:

"The Aviva Premiership is so tight, every single point counts. This is a significant period of the season and a massive run of games for teams; in the league, LV=Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup, where the next two games will determine whether or not we reach the knock out stage of the competition. The next five weeks will really shape the latter part of our season.

"We have built good momentum with five wins on the bounce, but we know we are up against a formidable Bath squad who will be hurting after last weekend’s loss against Leicester Tigers. They will also want to make amends after we produced one of our best performances of the season to beat them at Adams Park last year, when they were flying high.

"For me, Bath are the team of the season, so it doesn’t come any tougher than playing them away at The Rec this weekend."

Unable for selection:

Chris Bell (shoulder), Tom Bliss (pelvis), Jake Cooper-Woolley (illness), Will Helu (ankle), Ruaridh Jackson (ACL), Joe Launchbury (neck), Andrea Masi (knee), Thomas Young  (ankle), Tom Varndell (concussion), John Yapp (calf).

Wasps Team to play Bath Rugby

15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Alapati Leiua
12. Ben Jacobs
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Andy Goode
9. Joe Simpson

1. Matt Mullan
2. Carlo Festuccia
3. Lorenzo Cittadini
4. Bradley Davies
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Sam Jones
7. James Haskell (C)
8. Nathan Hughes
 
Replacements

16. Edd Shervington
17. Simon McIntyre       
18. Phil Swainston
19. James Gaskell
20. Ashley Johnson
21. Charlie Davies
22. Alex Lozowski
23. Elliot Daly

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