Nov 30, 2018
Match Preview: Wasps (H)
Ground: Ricoh Arena
Premiership – 1989/90, 1996/97, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2007/08
Anglo-Welsh Cup – 1998/99, 1999/00, 2005/06
European Cup – 2003/04, 2006/07
European Challenge Cup – 2002/03
Middlesex 7s – 1948, 1952, 1985, 1993, 2006
Premiership 7s – 2016, 2017
Middlesex Senior Cup - 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1987
European Champions Cup: Pool Stage
Anglo-Welsh Cup: Pool Stage
Premiership Top Scorer: Christian Wade (13)
With Joe Simpson the latest to be ruled out because of an ACL problem, Wasps are without 20 players are without 20 players due to injury; add to that Christian Wade’s exit and the Coventry outfit are pretty depleted. Dan Robin (ankle), Nizaam Carr (shoulder), Marcus Watson (groin), Kieran Brookes (groin), Will Stuart (neck), Tommy Taylor and Simon McIntryre (both concussion) all missed last weekend’s match against Bristol Bears and, at time of writing, are likely to miss a prolonged period of the season. All Blacks fly-half Lima Sopoaga returned in Round 8 and there were also Premiership debuts for scrum-half Will Porter and prop David Langley while impressive back row Tom Willis started for the second game running. Wasps will welcome back several internationals this afternoon including Elliot Daly, Nathan Hughes and Willie le Roux.
MEET THE COACH – DAI YOUNG
Young joined Wasps in 2011 and thereafter led the club from an 11th-placed finish to three successive Premiership play-off appearances with Wasps also qualifying for the last eight of the European Champions Cup in that period. He was named Director of Rugby of the season in 2016/17 despite Wasps losing out to Exeter Chiefs in the final. Prior to joining the Black and Golds, Young enjoyed a successful spell as Cardiff Blues head coach – the club he captained from 1998 to 2002. During that time, the former Wales prop, whose glittering career was headlined by British & Irish Lions call-ups in 1989, 1997 and 2001, won both the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup whilst in charge of the Blues.
ONE TO WATCH – WILLIE LE ROUX
Nobody set up more tries than Le Roux in the Premiership last season, putting his Wasps colleagues over the line 21 times - and the next best was Danny Care with 14. The 28-year-old was in the top five overall in terms of metres made (1229m), clean breaks (31) and offloads (22 - tied with Mike Brown which was fifth-best in the competition). The Springbok has been key to his club and country’s attack in the past year and scored a crucial try against England in Johannesburg in the summer; a score which gave South Africa a half-time lead after trailing 24-3 earlier in the game. Le Roux has played just one match for Wasps this season due to his international commitments and his return to their squad will be most welcome to Dai Young.
MEMORABLE FIXTURE – SARACENS 57-33 WASPS
Saturday 19th May 2018
Saracens made their fourth Premiership final in five years as they beat Wasps in a record-breaking semi-final.
Owen Farrell kicked 27 points, Chris Wyles scored a fifth semi-final try in eight years and the 11 tries and 90 combined points were all records.
The Men in Black scored the second-fastest try in Premiership semi-final history after just 84 seconds when Farrell skipped through the visitors’ defence before offloading to Alex Lozowski who showed his
Mark McCall’s men breached Wasps' defence again - Vincent Koch going over after Maro Itoje was held up just short.
After two Farrell penalties, Wasps went over as Willie le Roux ended a flowing move down the right but Wyles broke the record for Premiership semi-final tries on his final appearance (it’s since proved not to be!) at Allianz Park after his pack set up a great platform for Farrell and Brad Barritt to provide him with the ball.
Jake Cooper-Woolley made no mistake shortly after as he blasted over from close range then Thomas Young scored, and although Le Roux and Christian Wade crossed, two Farrell penalties and tries from Juan Figallo, Itoje and Ben Spencer sealed the game for Sarries.
Saracens: Goode; Maitland, Lozowski, Barritt (capt), Wyles; Farrell, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Kruis, Isiekwe, Wray, B Vunipola. Replacements: Brits, Barrington, Figallo, Skelton, Rhodes, Spencer, Bosch, Earle.
Wasps: Le Roux; Wade, De Jongh, Gopperth, Daly; Cipriani, Robson; B Harris, Cruse, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury (capt), Myall, Willis, Young, Hughes. Replacements: TJ Harris, Mullan, Moore, Gaskell, Thompson, Simpson, Eastmond, Bassett.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wasps and Harlequins actually have the same origin. Although a few modern day supporters may choose to not recall this, both clubs were formed from the dividing of the original club Hampstead Rugby club.