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Premiership Rugby

International quintet return for Wasps at Gloucester Rugby

Joe Launchbury

Five international players return to the starting line-up for Wasps’ Round 17 Gallagher Premiership clash with Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Joe Launchbury skippers the side while Brad Shields, Nathan Hughes, Elliot Daly and Zurabi Zhvania are all handed starts.

Shields and Hughes link up with Nizaam Carr in the back row while Launchbury partners James Gaskell in the second row. Zhvania is restored to the front row alongside Tommy Taylor and Will Stuart.

In the backline, Joe Simpson and Rob Miller link up once again in the half backs while Gaby Lovobalavu and Juan de Jongh continue their centre partnership, with Daly, Marcus Watson and Willie Le Roux completing the back three.

Among the replacements, Josh Bassett could make his 100th appearance in the Black and Gold if he features while Will Rowlands could be in line for his 50th Premiership appearance.

Academy fly half Jacob Umaga is named on the bench again and could make his first ever Premiership appearance while Academy scrum half Will Porter is also called up to the squad.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “They’ve got big physical forwards up front. They carry to the gainline very strongly and they’ve got Danny Cipriani behind pulling the strings. If they get some real quality front-foot ball, and he gets a platform to deliver, it’s going to be a tough game.

“They’ve had an excellent season with no real disruptions. They deserve to be sitting where they are and they are going to be a difficult team to knock off at home.

“We know we’ve got to be good in the next six games but there is no reason why we can’t pick up points and have a strong finish to the season.”

Wasps (First-team appearances)

15 Willie Le Roux (50)
14 Marcus Watson (23)
13 Juan de Jongh (43)
12 Gaby Lovobalavu (29)
11 Elliot Daly (188)
10 Rob Miller (98)
9 Joe Simpson (251)

1 Zurabi Zhvania (18)
2 Tommy Taylor (46)
3 Will Stuart (30)
4 Joe Launchbury (c) (135)
5 James Gaskell (104)
6 Brad Shields (9)
7 Nizaam Carr (31)
8 Nathan Hughes (119)

Replacements

16 Tom Cruse (57)
17 Ben Harris (42)
18 Jake Cooper-Woolley (125)
19 Will Rowlands (70)
20 Ashley Johnson (181)
21 Will Porter (10)
22 Jacob Umaga (7)
23 Josh Bassett (99)

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