Dai Young has named the Wasps side to travel to Sandy Park to take on Exeter Chiefs this Sunday, in the fourth round of the Aviva Premiership, kick off 3pm.
Jimmy Gopperth returns to the starting line-up at fly half alongside Joe Simpson, after missing out with a knock last weekend.
Wasps’ back three is formed by Rob Miller, Christian Wade and Josh Basset. Miller, who starts at full back, also provides cover at fly half in the absence of Danny Cipriani who suffered a knee injury against Harlequins. Willie Le Roux misses out through a hamstring strain.
South African international Juan de Jongh partners Elliot Daly in midfield, while Gaby Lovobalavu is sidelined by a calf injury.
In the pack, the starting front row is unchanged from last Sunday. Matt Symons returns to take his place alongside captain Joe Launchbury in the second row, having been forced to withdraw through illness last weekend.
Nathan Hughes, James Haskell and Ashley Johnson provide Wasps’ back row combination, with Ashley Johnson covering hooker. On the bench, there’s a welcome return to fitness for Wales international Thomas Young who is also joined by a further back row replacement in Jack Willis.
Heading into the game against a side that Wasps know well, Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We know we will need to muscle up defensively this weekend, as Exeter Chiefs are very good at starving teams of possession. We also have to be disciplined and not give them easy opportunities to get inside our 22 as they probably have the best driving lineout and pick-and-go game in the league, so we’ll need to defend our 22 as if it’s our try line.
“I think the best we’ve managed so far at Sandy Park is a draw, so we really want to go down there and give a good account of ourselves. We may have a few players missing but that’s no excuse, we still have a strong squad and if we get things right there’s no reason why we can’t get a win.
“We really enjoy playing the Chiefs who we have a lot of respect for. They’re normally tight games between us, with two teams who want to play rugby and keep the ball on the field, so I’m sure it will be another good game for people to watch.”
Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs
- Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Juan De Jongh
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Joe Simpson
2. Tom Cruse
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury (c)
5. Matt Symons
6. Ashley Johnson
7. James Haskell
8. Nathan Hughes
- Jack Willis
17. Simon McIntyre
18. Marty Moore
19. Will Rowlands
20. Thomas Young
21. Craig Hampson
22. Brendan Macken
23. Marcus Watson
Unavailable for selection through injury
Danny Cipriani, James Gaskell, Willie Le Roux, Gaby Lovobalavu, Kearnan Myall, Alex Rieder, Dan Robson, Guy Thompson.
Kyle Eastmond, Sam Jones, Tommy Taylor
Wasps next home game, on Sunday 1 October, sees the club celebrate its 150th anniversary game, when they take on Bath Rugby at the Ricoh Arena. The game will feature an outdoor festival-style Fan Village in Car Park and the club will also launch its 150th commemorative book. http://www.wasps150book.co.uk/
The culmination of Wasps two-day charity bike ride in association with Dallaglio RugbyWorks will also end at the Ricoh Arena, having taken in former Wasps’ grounds along the 150-mile route. Wasps will host fundraising initiatives for Dallaglio RugbyWorks, one of the club’s three charity partners in their anniversary year, that helps disadvantaged 14 to 17 year-olds achieve sustained education, employment or training. http://www.dallagliorugbyworks.com/
Tickets are available from wasps.co.uk/tickets