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Wasps v London Irish team news

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his team for Wasps final game of the season, against London Irish at the Madejski Stadium, as the side aims to secure their targeted top-six finish and European Champions Cup qualification.

There is a new look half-back combination with scrum half Charlie Davies starting alongside Andy Goode, after Joe Simpson suffered a medial ligament strain against Leicester Tigers which will see him undergo six to eight weeks of rehab.

Goode, Davies and Tom Lindsay, starting at hooker in place of the injured Carlo Festuccia, have the chance to bow out on a high if they can get the win on their last outing for Wasps.

In the back row, Guy Thompson starts at no 8. alongside captain James Haskell and Ashley Johnson, who will again cover hooker. Nathan Hughes has flown to New Zealand to be with his wife Ella for the birth of their first baby.

Having impressed during his cameo from the bench against Leicester Tigers last Saturday, following six months on the side-lines, Joe Launchbury is ready to take his place in the starting line-up, alongside James Gaskell.
 
Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said: "It couldn’t be teed up any better as a final game of the season. Whether our season has been a success or not boils down to one game now. It’s a proper Cup Final for us.

"We know what we have to do. We’ve worked really hard to put ourselves in a position where we can reach our season’s goal of attaining a top-six finish. We’re not underestimating the task in front of us – London Irish are a difficult team to play against. They probably haven’t had the results this season that they deserve, but they are a dangerous team.

"We know we will have to play to the standards we have played at for 90% of the season. If we can reach that, then I’m sure we will be good enough to get the result.

"We have more to lose going into the game than London Irish do, so the pressure is probably more on us than it is on them. But that’s the type of pressure you have to live with if you want to achieve things in professional sport.

"I’ve never been one to hope other teams do you a favour. The reality is, it’s in our own hands. If we don’t get the result we need on the weekend and therefore don’t attain our goal, we will only have ourselves to blame.

Asked about the impact of being without key players who have played a big part in Wasps’ success this season, Young said:

"Yes, we’re missing some key players who have been outstanding for Wasps this season, but injuries are part and parcel of professional sport at this stage of the season.  You need to deal with that and use the depth of the squad and we have talented players who I‘m sure will do a good job for us."

Wasps Team

15. Andrea Masi
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Alapati Leiua
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Andy Goode
9. Charlie Davies

1. Matt Mullan
2. Tom Lindsay
3. Lorenzo Cittadini
4. Joe Launchbury
5. James Gaskell
6. Ashley Johnson
7. James Haskell ©
8. Guy Thompson

Replacements

16. Simon McIntyre
17. Will Taylor
18. Kearnan Myall
19. Sam Jones
20. Thomas Young
21. Piri Weepu
22. Alex Lozowski
23. Rob Miller

Unavailable for selection due to injury:
Josh Bassett, Chris Bell, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Bradley Davies, Carlo Festuccia, Ed Jackson, Ben Jacobs, Joe Simpson, Phil Swainston, John Yapp.
 

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