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Premiership Rugby

London Wasps name side for Saints

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

London Wasps Director of Rugby, Warren Gatland, has named his side to play the Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Gatland has made a number of changes from the side that beat the Leeds Tykes last weekend. Amongst the backline, Peter Richards replaces Rob Howley at scrumhalf and Ayoola Erinle comes in for Mark Denney at centre.

Injuries to the front row have created a shuffle. Will Green will miss the game due to a shoulder injury. Craig Dowd will move from his usual position of loosehead to tighthead prop. Dowd will also captain the side. Tim Payne comes in at loosehead with Sean Phillips on the bench. Phil Greening picked up a rib injury against Leeds and will miss this game. Trevor Leota will therefore start at hooker with Jonny Barrett on the bench.

Martin Purdy will replace Richard Birkett at lock. Birkett has a slight knee injury and was advised to not to play.

The injuries to Green, Birkett and Greening are not serious and will not keep them out of action for long.

Amongst the backrow, Paul Volley moves from his usual position of No.7 and will start at No.6 with Jonny O'Connor retaining his place at No.7.

O'Connor said, "I've never had the opportunity to play against Northampton and, therefore, can't wait to get onto the field. I've heard from the boys that Franklin's Gardens is a great place to play rugby but also very tough. I expect it to be a battle".

England U21 international, John Hart, will play at No.8. James Haskell, who is the youngest Wasps player to start in the Zurich Premiership, is on the bench.

Gatland added, "Winning at Northampton is no easy task and this season will be no exception. I felt our defeat last season, at Franklin's Gardens, was the only game where Wasps were well and truly beaten. We have yet to click into full gear and if we are going to beat Saints we must up the tempo for this game.

"Saints are hungry for a win, we intend to keep them starved."

15 Tom Voyce14 Shane Roiser13 Fraser Waters12 Ayoola Erinle11 John Rudd10 Mark Van Gisbergen9 Peter Richards

1 Tim Payne2 Trevor Leota3 Craig Dowd (Capt)4 Simon Shaw5 Martin Purdy6 Paul Volley7 Jonny O'Connor8 John Hart

16 Rob Howley17 Jonny Barrett18 Mark Denney19 James Haskell20 George Skivington21 Ian Clarke22 Sean Phillips

ENDS

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