Pair miss out but Young has a strong hand for trip to Rec

Coventry Telegraph - - Marketplace - By BOBBY BRIDGE Wasps Re­porter [email protected]­plc.com

WIL­LIE le Roux and El­liot Daly are miss­ing from Wasps’ squad to face Bath at the Rec to­day.

Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Daly sits out the Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup match as he takes his manda­tory rest week fol­low­ing ex­er­tions in the au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als.

A neck in­jury rules Spring­bok le Roux out of the Pool One fix­ture, end­ing his six-game run in the start 15.

Com­ing into their place is Rob Miller at full­back while Ross Neal has re­cov­ered from a hip in­jury that ruled him out of Wasps’ last two games against Bath and Northamp­ton Saints.

Else­where the only changes see Nathan Hughes make his first start in five games with Nizaam Carr tak­ing his place on the bench while prop Will Stu­art starts at tight­head with Jake Coop­erWool­ley moved to the bench.

Char­lie Matthews takes Kear­nan Myall’s place on the bench as di­rec­tor of rugby Dai Young stayed true to his word of send­ing a strong squad for the round five match be­tween two sides al­ready out of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“You want to get into a habit of win­ning,” said Young. “Peo­ple keep on telling us one win in 13 com­pe­ti­tions, even if we’ve openly said that the Premier­ship Cup is just a de­vel­op­ment tool for us.

“So we’ve learnt that you have to keep on pick­ing up wins no mat­ter what com­pe­ti­tion be­cause oth­er­wise peo­ple will use it as am­mu­ni­tion to chuck stones at you.

“It’s not a game like snakes and lad­ders, this is their job, their liveli­hood. That edge of play­ing in a cup fi­nal isn’t go­ing to be there, we have to be hon­est with that, we’re all hu­man.

“But they still have to go out and do a job and go there to win. So I don’t ex­pect to see any­thing other than us play­ing to the best of our abil­ity and try­ing to get that re­sult.”

SE­LEC­TION VER­DICT

Wasps have se­lected their best back row, sec­ond row and half-back part­ner­ship to face Bath, giv­ing a clear in­di­ca­tion of how se­ri­ously they are tak­ing this game.

The cen­tre part­ner­ship of Juan de Jongh and Michele Cam­pag­naro is given a sec­ond-con­sec­u­tive out­ing with the aim of lock­ing down what has been a prob­lem­atic area of the pitch this sea­son. Ross Neal de­serves to come straight back into the fold, his in­jury came at an un­for­tu­nate time when he was look­ing in­creas­ingly as­sured and pow­er­ful in wide channels with force­ful car­ries and an eye for the line. There’s no ex­cuses not to go and get the vic­tory with this squad.

IN FO­CUS: NATHAN HUGHES

Since Oc­to­ber 6, the num­ber eight has played in un­der a quar­ter (24 per cent) of the avail­able min­utes in Wasps’ games. in­jury lim­ited and Hughes A ten sus­pen­sion, a fam­ily sub­se­quent to just be­reave­ment Eng­land one start front­line call-up, dur­ing have that pe­riod. He made just 11 ap­pear­ances for the Black and Golds dur­ing 2018. If ru­mours are true and he is Bris­tol Bears-bound this sum­mer, time is fast run­ning out to en­sure his six years with the club do not fade out to a dis­ap­point­ing end. Cast your minds back to Septem­ber, Hughes tore into the Gal­lagher Premier­ship with three tries in as many games af­ter re­turn­ing from Eng­land’s tour to South Africa in one piece. Brad Shields and Thomas Young pro­vide all the back-row sup­port of his dreams to smash rucks and tackle like demons to free up their wreck­ing ball at the back of the scrum to pro­vide a timely re­minder of his ex­plo­sive abil­i­ties with ball in hand. WASPS: 15 Rob Miller; 14 Ross Neal 13 Michele Cam­pag­naro; 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Josh Bas­sett; 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Dan Rob­son; 1 Zurabi Zh­va­nia, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Will Stu­art, 4 Joe Launch­bury (c), 5 Will Row­lands, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Nathan Hughes (117). Subs: 16 An­to­nio Har­ris, 17 Ben Har­ris, 18 Jake Cooper-Wool­ley, 19 Char­lie Matthews, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Craig Hamp­son, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Gaby Lovobal­avu

We’ve learnt that you have to keep on pick­ing up wins no mat­ter what com­pe­ti­tion oth­er­wise peo­ple will use it as am­mu­ni­tion. Dai Young

Wasps boss Dai Young

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