Wasps vs Leinster - Ashley Johnson

Wasps Team to Face Saracens

6th March 2015

Wasps vs Saracens

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his team to take on Saracens at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, kick off 2pm, as second take on fourth in the Aviva Premiership table.

Matt Mullan again leads the side, which this week sees Tom Lindsay start at hooker. Injuries to Carlo Festuccia (calf) and Edd Shervington (shoulder) mean Ashley Johnson will start on the blindside flank, but provide cover at hooker, where he has already featured for Wasps this season and previously for the Cheetahs. Ed Jackson and Guy Thompson provide two back row options on the bench.

Bradley Davies returns from the Welsh camp to start in the second row alongside James Gaskell, with Kearnan Myall on the bench.

Lorenzo Cittadini, back after Italy’s win over Scotland, takes up the tight-head berth. Jake Cooper-Woolley sits out after concussion last weekend and Phil Swainston keeps his place on the bench.

In other changes to last Sunday’s match squad, Sailosi Tagicakibau runs out on the left wing, while Christian Wade stays on the right. Andrea Masi returns from the leg injury suffered against Newcastle two weeks ago to provide cover at full back and centre.

Wasps Director Dai Young said: “We produced periods of high quality rugby last Sunday to pick up the five-try win, which was a glimpse of how good we can be, but we were also very sloppy in parts and it was nowhere near the 80 minute performance we keep talking about. That will be our focus again this weekend.

“We know we are up against a side who are used to winning. Saracens are a quality team who will look to put us under pressure with their kicking game and will try to squeeze us up front. They have a very good set piece and strong defence, but they also have individual players with the flare to score tries if you give them opportunities.

“This is a massive game for both teams. I’m not sure I can remember a time when the table has been this tight at this stage of the season, with only one point separating the second-placed and sixth-placed team. You could just as easily finish in seventh or second on the back of one result.

“As a playing group, we need to focus on the here and now and trying to get a win in this game. If we achieve that, then we will sit in a very good position going into the LV=Cup break, before returning to the Aviva Premiership to play Northampton Saints at Franklins Gardens, which is always tough no matter how well you play.”

Wasps team to play Saracens

15. Rob Miller

14. Christian Wade

13. Elliot Daly

12. James Downey

11. Sailosi Tagicakibau

10. Andy Goode

9. Joe Simpson

1. Matt Mullan (c)

2. Tom Lindsay

3. Lorenzo Cittadini

4. Bradley Davies

5. James Gaskell

6. Ashley Johnson

7. Thomas Young

8. Nathan Hughes

16. Simon McIntyre

17. Phil Swainston

18. Kearnan Myall

19. Ed Jackson

20. Guy Thompson

21. Piri Weepu

22. Alex Lozowski

23. Andrea Masi

Unavailable for selection:

Josh Basset - ankle, Chris Bell - shoulder, Jake Cooper-Woolley - concussion, Charlie Davies - calf, Will Helu - hamstring, Ruaridh Jackson - ACL, Ben Jacobs - shoulder, Sam Jones - concussion, Joe Launchbury - neck, Alapati Leiua - knee, Jack Moates - hamstring, Edd Shervington –shoulder.

James Haskell – England camp.