Wasps team to play Connacht Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps squad to travel to Galway this weekend, in the return leg of back-to-back European fixtures against Connacht Rugby. (1730 kick-off on Saturday 17 December).

The squad features a new look half back and midfield combination, with scrum half Joe Simpson starting alongside Jimmy Gopperth at 10 and outside centre Brendan Macken partnering Kurtley Beale at 12, both of whom impressed in last Sunday’s home win against the Pro 12 Champions. Kyle Eastmond and Danny Cipriani remain side-lined by chest and calf injuries respectively.

In the front row, Jake Cooper-Woolley starts at tight-head alongside Tommy Taylor and Matt Mullan, with Marty Moore part of a strong bench primed to make an impact.

Ahead of the trip to Galway, Dai Young knows the job is far from completed: “As we said after last Sunday’s win, this is very much half-time in the fixture. We are well aware of the huge challenge ahead of us, against a quality side, at a very difficult place to play. Connacht Rugby have a really passionate set of supporters and we are expecting it to be a fantastic atmosphere, as it always is at the Sportsground. We also expect the weather conditions to be as testing as they normally are in December, so we will need to be efficient with possession and any opportunities that come our way.

“We were really pleased to pick up five points last weekend and I’m sure Connacht were disappointed not to come away with anything. However, I imagine they left confident that they will be able to get something out of this Saturday’s game, having caused us plenty of problems last week. We can’t give them as much ball as we did at the Ricoh Arena. We’ll need to secure more possession and cause them more problems ball in hand than we did then. We know we’ll need to be better than we were last week if we’re to get a result, but we’re confident we’re capable of doing that.”

 Wasps team to play Connacht Rugby in Round 4 of the Champions Cup

15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Brendan Macken
12. Kurtley Beale
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Joe Simpson
1. Matt Mullan
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Ashley Johnson
7. Thomas Young
8. Nathan Hughes

Replacements
16. Alex Rieder
17. Tom Bristow
18. Marty Moore
19. James Gaskell
20. Guy Thompson
21. Dan Robson
22. Alapati Leiua
23. Frank Halai