Campagnaro set for Wasps debut at Saracens
New signing Michele Campagnaro will make his Wasps debut at Allianz Park as Wasps prepare to take on Saracens in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The Italian is straight into the starting line-up after joining up with the team earlier this week, while fellow international stars Willie Le Roux, Elliot Daly, Brad Shields, Nathan Hughes and Zurabi Zhvania all return to the squad.
Campagnaro is named on the left wing in a back three that includes Springbok Le Roux at full back and Ross Neal on the right wing – the latter keeping his place after an impressive two-try, man-of-the-match performance on his Premiership debut last weekend.
In the centres, Daly skippers the side at 13 next to Michael Le Bourgeois while Lima Sopoaga and Craig Hampson continue their half-back partnership.
In the pack, Nizaam Carr recovers from a shoulder knock to start in the back row next to England pair Brad Shields and Nathan Hughes while Ashley Johnson (knee) and Thomas Young (hamstring and calf) are sidelined.
Kearnan Myall is restored to the second row alongside Will Rowlands, with James Gaskell (back) missing out.
The front row sees Kieran Brookes return while Antonio Harris is set for his first Premiership start at hooker as Tom Cruse (ribs) is sidelined. Ben Harris starts again at loosehead.
Academy hooker Gabriel Oghre could make his Premiership debut off the bench while Nottingham Rugby tighthead Mike Daniels is called into the Wasps replacements with Will Stuart (neck) and Jake Cooper-Woolley (ribs) injured.
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We’re striving for some consistency but it doesn’t help when we keep losing players. Combinations seem to be challenged weekly but hopefully our luck with injuries will turn and we’re expecting a lot of guys back in the New Year.
“This weekend we have got to take our best game to Saracens. We all know the quality they have and how hard it is to break their defence down.
“We’ve got to be stringent in defence, we can’t give easy points away and our set-piece has got to get parity.
“For us it’s about backing up last week’s performance, trying to get some momentum going into Europe and we certainly want to come away with something.”
Wasps (Wasps first-team appearances)
15 Wille Le Roux (40)
14 Ross Neal (4)
13 Elliot Daly (c) (181)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois (9)
11 Michele Campagnaro (0)
10 Lima Sopoaga (9)
9 Craig Hampson (21)
1 Ben Harris (29)
2 Antonio Harris (10)
3 Kieran Brookes (10)
4 Will Rowlands (58)
5 Kearnan Myall (124)
6 Brad Shields (2)
7 Nizaam Carr (18)
8 Nathan Hughes (113)
16 Gabriel Oghre (5)
17 Zurabi Zhvania (8)
18 Mike Daniels (0)
19 Charlie Matthews (3)
20 Ben Morris (7)
21 Will Porter (7)
22 Billy Searle (6)
23 Juan de Jongh (33)