Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Young calls for Wasps reality check

Dai Young

Dai Young is under no illusion about the task facing his Wasps team against unbeaten Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins on Sunday.

Quins will arrive at Adams Park chasing a 14th successive victory in all competitions this season. They are currently nine points clear at the Premiership summit, and even though they have lost number eight Nick Easter and centre Jordan Turner-Hall to injuries, Quins remain clear favourites.

"Harlequins are not top of the table by accident, and they have some real quality players who we will have to try to keep quiet," Wasps rugby director Young said.

"The league is very competitive at the moment. We are still only a few points away from the top four, and overall I think we are going okay.

"There have been a few results we have been disappointed with - last weekend against London Irish and Newcastle, in particular. Both were games we should have won. But I am not doubting the commitment and attitude of the players, which has been first class."

England international Riki Flutey has recovered from an injury that has kept him out of Wasps' last two games, and he will partner Dom Waldouck in midfield.

Joe Simpson, meanwhile, is back at scrum-half, with lock Ed O'Donoghue starting instead of Ross Filipo, but Wasps still have several players absent through injury.

With Easter sidelined, Quins skipper Chris Robshaw moves back-row positions and there is a start for flanker Luke Wallace. Turner-Hall, who will be sidelined for four weeks due to a cheekbone injury, is replaced by Tom Casson, with lock Charlie Matthews in for George Robson (sore calf muscle).

In Sunday's other game, centre Brad Barritt misses out for Saracens against London Irish at Vicarage Road due to a calf muscle injury, so Adam Powell deputises, and Owen Farrell continues at fly-half instead of knee injury victim Charlie Hodgson.

Fly-half Dan Bowden is among four changes made by Irish boss Toby Booth following victory over Wasps last Saturday. Bowden will captain the side, with props Alex Corbisiero and Paulica Ion also handed starts alongside number eight Chris Hala'ufia, who replaces Jebb Sinclair.

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre