Preview – Wasps v Leinster

London Wasps Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan has announced Lawrence Dallaglio as captain of the Wasps team who will face Leinster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final at Adams Park on Saturday.

In big calls at number eight and full-back, McGeechan picks both youth and experience, with Danny Cipriani getting the nod at full back, as James Haskell and Mark Van Gisbergen are selected for an exceptional bench that includes three full internationals and three A team internationals.

Phil Vickery and Joe Worsley have both been passed fit, having recovered from the concussions they suffered in the Bristol and Wales games respectively, and also starts in imposing front row alongside Raphael Ibanez and Tim Payne.

Dallaglio is joined at the back of the scrum by Joe Worsley and Tom Rees, the ultra-competitive back row environment in Wycombe meaning there is no place in the starting line up for newly capped Haskell and Samoan international Dan Leo, both named on the bench, or Irish international Jonny O’Connor who fails to make the 22.

Lining up outside half-backs Eoin Reddan and Alex King is 19-year-old Dominic Waldouck, who pairs up with experienced centre partner Fraser Waters, the pace supplied by wingers Josh Lewsey and Tom Voyce and Waldouck’s teenaged Academy team mate Cipriani making up the back three.

“In selecting this team, we have focussed on blending experience with youth, and I feel we’ve named a very strong 22 that allows us to manage our resources during the game,” said McGeechan of his team selection.

“There were some big calls to make in the back row, midfield and the back three, but we’ve made our decisions based on what we want to do in this game.

“I’m delighted that Phil Vickery and Joe Worsley have been passed fit and both have been fully involved in training this week.

McGeechan has enjoyed having his full squad together again for this week’s preparations, coming as eight of his first team regulars return to Wasps for the first time in several weeks following their involvement in the Six Nations.

“The key points for us have been just training together again, and regaining the understanding we had a couple of months ago.”

Academy young guns Cipriani and Waldouck will play in the biggest games of their lives on Saturday, but McGeechan is confident that they are ready to step up to the challenge.

“Our youngsters have experienced European rugby already, but this will be another step up for them, to play a quality side that have reached the quarter finals on a regular basis and are riding high at the top of the Magners League in front of a full house.

“But these are the sorts of experiences that they play for and that will make them better players.

“There have been some tough calls to make and Jonny O’Connor in particular is unlucky to have missed out, having come back to form again following a long time out with injury, and John Hart too has performed well for us in recent games, but their presence is what makes our back row so competitive at the moment.

“We are in the fortunate position that I would have been be happy to have started this game with any of those back row players, but the decision was about getting the combinations right.

“I also have to say that they and the rest of the squad not involved on Saturday have been tremendous in their support of the 22 in training.”

Form: Wasps’ Premiership challenge is still a little uncertain, despite wins over then-leaders Bristol and Harlequins in two of their last three matches. They came through one of the toughest pools in qualifying, finishing above Perpignan and Castres, and have an enviable home record. Leinster have proved more fragile on the road in the pools, losing to Gloucester in the final match when a home quarter-final was at stake, and with Wasps set to use their forwards to close the game down in much the same way, Leinst

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