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Hanks banks on Wasps backlash

Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks has revealed his team will use recent disappointments as motivation against London Irish.

The Wycombe-based club are still smarting from their heavy defeats by Northampton and Exeter over the last four weeks. Hanks hopes the backlash of those results will be felt by Irish, who began the weekend as Aviva Premiership leaders, when they arrive at Adams Park.

"We are under no illusions about how competitive it will be, but home games and the performances we put on in front of our home supporters are hugely important to the team," said Hanks.

"We're still feeling the aftermath of the Northampton and Exeter games and the emotions experienced after those matches are powerful motivation."

Fly-half Dave Walder returns for Wasps after recovering from a knee injury, while lock Simon Shaw packs down after being released from England duty earlier this week.

Irish, who are hoping to rediscover winning ways in the Premiership after two LV=Cup defeats, have been bolstered by the return of wing Topsy Ojo and half-backs Ryan Lamb and Paul Hodgson.

"There's been a different buzz in training this week. We're refreshed and excited to be getting back into the Premiership," said Exiles head coach Toby Booth.

Newcastle have been bolstered for their clash with high-flying Gloucester by the return of captain James Hudson.

Hudson is back after two months out with the hamstring injury he sustained against Exeter in September.

"I can't stand watching the games when I'm not involved," said the 28-year-old. "You just feel so powerless not being able to have an effect on the game and it has been a frustrating time being out for so long."


From Belfast Telegraph