Jake aims to shake up Wasps cup hopes as Saints prom­ise a high-tempo

The Rugby Paper - - Premiership Rugby Cup - By NEALE HAR­VEY

FRUS­TRATED prop Jake Cooper-Wool­ley is set for his first run-out since May as Wasps aim to in­ject some mo­men­tum into their cam­paign.

The teak-tough tight­head un­der­went knee surgery over the sum­mer but had his comeback de­layed af­ter tear­ing a bicep in pre-sea­son.

Cooper-Wool­ley said: “My last game was the semi-fi­nal against Sara­cens in May so it’s not been the per­fect start, but there’s lots of rugby left.

“It’s good to come back in the Premier­ship Cup along with some other lads who’ve been in­jured with­out the pres­sure of the league.”

Cooper-Wool­ley fea­tures in a beefed-up Wasps side in which fel­low for­wards Tom West, Kear­nan Myall and Char­lie Matthews also make their first starts.

Rob Miller cap­tains from full-back while Gaby Lovobal­avu re­turns af­ter in­jury to part­ner Ross Neal at cen­tre and Kiwi Am­brose Cur­tis de­buts on the wing.

Ar­guably Wasps’ stand­out for­ward last sea­son, Cooper-Wool­ley be­lieves Wasps are still tro­phy con­tenders.

He added: “Our squad’s been stretched but we’re still in a de­cent po­si­tion in the league and there’s a lot

more to come from us.

“It’s been tougher than pre­vi­ous years and what’s killed us at times is the amount we’ve turned the ball over. But we’ve got these next two cup matches to es­tab­lish some mo­men­tum be­fore our league cam­paign re­sumes.”

Northamp­ton are aim­ing to build on last week’s seven-try trounc­ing of Bris­tol as they con­tinue to de­velop un­der new boss Chris Boyd.

Start­ing No.9 Char­lie Davies said: “It was a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance from one to 23.

“We want to play at a re­ally high tempo and ev­ery­body’s learn­ing the same thing un­der Chris so that guys com­ing in know their roles. We’re aim­ing to play with the ball, con­trol the ball and en­sure we keep op­pos­ing sides un­der pres­sure.”

Spring­bok star Hein­rich Brus­sow re­turns to Saints’ back row, while Boyd fields five academy prod­ucts in his back-line in Ge­orge Fur­bank, Fraser Ding­wall, Fraser Stra­chan, Ol­lie Sleightholme and hugely im­pres­sive fly-half James Grayson.

Davies is look­ing for­ward to part­ner­ing Grayson, adding: “James is a young player with a lot of con­fi­dence and the tal­ent to back it up. He can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.”

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