London Wasps v Worcester Warriors Premiership Preview

London Wasps have been able to name fullback Hugh Southwell in their starting line up to face Worcester as he has recovered from the hand injury that kept him out of the last two matches.


Southwell is one of three returnees to the Wasps backline, with Stephen Jones taking the number ten shirt, having been forced to miss the Northampton clash with a stomach bug, and Tom Varndell returning to the wing in the place of the injured James Bailey.


Up front, Simon McIntyre replaces Tim Payne in the only change to the pack. On the bench Phil Swainston, Jonathan Poff and Ashley Johnson come into the match-day squad for the second Wasps clash at Adams Park this season.


Director of Rugby Dai Young said the side looked forward to being back in front of home fans this weekend.


“We had a decent win there in our last match and we know how important home form is so this is an important game. Worcester will come here with lots of confidence having scored some very good tries in their last few games and they always bring with them a strong set piece and defensive game.”


London Wasps’ single victory in their last nine matches in all competitions remains the 43-14 win over London Irish at Adams Park in round three of Aviva Premiership Rugby.


Worcester Warriors opened their winning account this season with their 35-11 win over London Irish at Sixways on Friday.


The Warriors have slipped to nine successive away defeats in all competitions since the last time they visited Adams Park on New Year’s Day and won 6-0.


Both encounters between the clubs in the Premiership last season ended in wins for the away side, whilst the Warriors have been victorious in two of their last three visits to Adams Park.


Worcester Warriors head coach Richard Hill has made one change to the side that started against the Exiles and three changes to the bench.


Jon Clarke will make his first Aviva Premiership start while former England scrum half Paul Hodgson could make his first appearance of the season if he comes off the bench.


Fiji international Ravai Fatiaki, this week named in the touring party for his country next month alongside team-mate Josh Matavesi, is also among the replacements.


Back row Blair Cowan is also set for a first taste of league rugby this season. The former Cornish Pirates man is among the replacements with Semisi Taulava ruled out through injury.


Head Coach Hill has called for his team to play with confidence and is keen for a strong start at Adams Park.


“We’ve done exceptionally well to score four tries at Northampton and against London Irish, but Wasps will pose a different threat away from home so we must not get too carried away,” he said.


Match : London Wasps v Worcester Warriors
Date : Sunday 7th October
Venue : Adams Park
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N/A
Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (5th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Paul Burton.


Teams


London Wasps


15 Hugo Southwell ( C) , 14 Tom Varndell , 13 Andrea Masi , 12 Chris Bell , 11 Christian Wade , 10 Stephen Jones , 9 Joe Simpson , 1 Simon McIntyre , 2 Tom Lindsay , 3 Zak Taulafo , 4 Tom Palmer , 5 Marco Wentzel , 6 Joe Launchbury , 7 James Haskell , 8 Billy Vunipola


Replacements :16 T Rhys Thomas , 17 Phil Swainston , 18 Fabio Staibano , 19 Jonathan Poff , 20 Ashley Johnson , 21 Charlie Davies , 22 Nick Robinson , 23 Elliot Daly


Warriors


15 Chris Pennell , 14 Jon Clarke , 13 Alex Grove , 12 Josh Matavesi , 11 David Lemi , 10 Andy Goode , 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Sam Betty , 6 Chris Jones , 5 Dean Schofield (c) , 4 James Percival , 3 John Andress , 2 Aleki Lutui ,1 Matt Mullan


Replacements :16 Ollie Hayes ,

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