Wasps team to face Sale Sharks
Director of rugby Dai Young hands a first Wasps start of the season to Willie Le Roux, as his club play Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
There are six changes to the starting 15 from Sunday’s win against Leicester Tigers.
Le Roux returns from international duty with South Africa to take his place at full back, moving captain Elliot Daly to outside centre. Daly joins Wasps debutant from last week Michael Le Bourgeois in the centres.
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) September 21, 2018
Club captain Joe Launchbury, who has a short-term knee injury, is replaced by Will Rowlands. Rowlands starts in the second row alongside James Gaskell.
Zurabi Zhvania gets a first start for Wasps, moving from the bench to starting at loosehead prop in the absence of the injured Ben Harris. Zhvania is alongside Tommy Taylor and Will Stuart in the front row, as Stuart swaps places with Kieran Brookes.
Marcus Watson makes his first start of the season, replacing the rested Christian Wade, to join Josh Bassett and Le Roux in the back three.
Ashley Johnson, Nizaam Carr and Nathan Hughes form an unchanged back row.
Tom West and Kearnan Myall could make their first appearances of the season from amongst the replacements and are joined on an impactful bench by Tom Cruse, Brookes, Ben Morris, Joe Simpson, Billy Searle and Rob Miller.
Director of Rugby Dai Young said:
“We have been a bit patchy so far. We’d much rather it be three wins out of three but it’s not to be. We’ve been good in patches but average in patches, so still lots to work on but it’s better to be working on them off the back of two wins. It could quite easily have been a worse story.
“From our point of view, Sale are very strong defensively. You’re going to have to work around them rather than go through them. When we’ve got the ball, we’re going to have to be good. We’re going to have to earn the right to play with width and exploit gaps out there.
“Set-piece wise, they have one of the best driving lineouts in the game. We’re going to have to improve, because defensively we’ve not been where we want to be in that area. We’re very mindful of the threats they bring.
“It’s about time we get a result up there, we haven’t won up there since 2010. They’re very difficult to beat at home. We know it’s going to be a tough game. This is an opportunity for them to get a good win at home and the springboard for their season. It’s up to us, after a good hard-fought win last week and go up there and keep our momentum going forward.”
Wasps team to face Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday September 22 (3:00pm kick-off)
15 Willie Le Roux
14 Marcus Watson
13 Elliot Daly (c)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois
11 Josh Bassett
10 Lima Sopoaga
9 Dan Robson
1 Zurabi Zhvania
2 Tommy Taylor
3 Will Stuart
4 Will Rowlands
5 James Gaskell
6 Ashley Johnson
7 Nizaam Carr
8 Nathan Hughes
16 Tom Cruse
17 Tom West
18 Kieran Brookes
19 Kearnan Myall
20 Ben Morris
21 Joe Simpson
22 Billy Searle
23 Rob Miller