London Wasps v Leicester Premiership Preview

London Wasps began their Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign with a 20-15 victory over champions Saracens at Twickenham on Saturday, and have not won successive Premiership fixtures since December 2010.

Leicester Tigers were beaten at home by Exeter Chiefs last Saturday and have never begun a league campaign with back to back defeats.

The Tigers have won their last seven away games in the Premiership, and another victory would see them equal the all-time Premiership record in this category, which they themselves hold having set this mark between 1999-2000.

The last five clashes between the two clubs have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Tigers have not been victorious at Adams Park since a 20-17 win on 30 September 2007.

London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has kept faith with the same starting line-up that beat Saracens last weekend, for Sunday’s showdown with Leicester Tigers at Adams Park.

There are just two changes on the bench with former All Black, Ross Filipo in line for his first ever appearance for the club while Joe Burton comes in for Billy Vunipola who picked up a knock in training this week.

While Young was delighted to taste victory in the first competitive outing of the season last weekend, he says his side will have to improve if they are to get a result against Leicester.

“To get off to a winning start was exactly what we needed but we’re going to have to step up again this weekend. There was a lot to be pleased with last week but we’ve certainly not been patting ourselves on the back because the thought of playing a quality side like Leicester next was a pretty sobering one. To have them come here on the back of a loss will probably make them even more dangerous. They are a side I have a lot of respect for and we can’t afford to give them any opportunities because they will take them.”

Sunday’s game will be Young’s first ever outing at Adams Park with Wasps and he says he is hugely looking forward to meeting the home fans.

“We had some fantastic support at Twickenham last weekend, but Adams Park is our home and I’m really looking forward to us playing in front of our own crowd. It is important we try and build Adams Park as a bit of a fortress and ensure that it stays a place that away teams are not too fond of visiting.”

Leicester Tigers have made two changes to their starting line-up with Mathew Tait – a late withdrawal last week with injury – and Ben Woods comes into the back row with Julian Salvi switching to the No8 shirt

Thomas Waldrom, who was withdrawn with a slight groin injury in the closing stages of the defeat by Exeter Chiefs in Round One, is named among the replacements.

Graham Kitchener is back to full fitness after injury and the lock joins the matchday squad for the first time since his summer move from Worcester Warriors. Fly-half Jeremy Staunton is also included on his return from injury.

“I thought we played some pretty good stuff in parts against Exeter last week but we made some costly errors,” said Cockerill.

“We knew this period was not going to be easy and we just have to battle through it.”

Tigers have 11 players on international duty at the Rugby World Cup and are also without the injured Craig Newby, Jordan Crane, Geoff Parling and Julian White.

Last season this fixture threw up an attacking feast of rugby as Wasps scored a late try through Richard Haughton to run out 37-30 winners. The Bookies have given Leicester a 4 point start for this match.

Match : London Wasps v Leicester Tigers
Date : Sunday 4th September
Venue : Adams Park.
Kick Off : 4.30pm
Referee: Andrew Small (58th Premiership game)


London Wasps

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