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Alfie Barbeary returns to back row as Wasps name side for Munster

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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England prospect Alfie Barbeary will make his first Wasps start of the season as they host Munster at the Coventry Building Society Arena in the Heineken Champions Cup .

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The Pool B, Round one opener on Sunday, will see six personnel changes and one positional switch from Wasps’ last game against Worcester Warriors. Wasps are set to face a greatly weakened Munster, who have a squad that has been decimated by Covid-19 withdrawals in the wake of the Omicron outbreak and resultant travel chaos in South Africa last week.

Barbeary makes his season debut at blindside flanker. Captain Brad Shields will now play openside flanker, while Tom Willis completes the back row as number eight, making his 50th appearance for the Wasps.

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The front row sees two changes, with props Tom West and Biyi Alo taking either side of last week’s double-try-scoring hooker Dan Frost, who’ll be making his European Champions Cup debut.

Sebastian de Chaves replaces Elliott Stooke on the second row. Vaea Fifita has been added to Wasps’ long injury list, which now stands at 18.

Michael Le Bourgeois returns to the lineup as outside centre. He shares the Wasps’ midfield with Jimmy Gopperth. Sam Wolstenholme starts at scrum half alongside standoff Jacob Umaga.

The back three of Marcus Watson, Josh Bassett, and Zach Kibirige remains unchanged.

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Francois Hougaard returns from injury to the bench. It’s a 6-2 forwards-to-backs bench split, as Will Porter joins Hougaard as the backs replacements. Other reserve forwards include Gabriel Oghre, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Tim Cardall, Nizaam Carr, and Thomas Young.

WASPS:
15 Marcus Watson
14 Zach Kibirige
13 Michael Le Bourgeois
12 Jimmy Gopperth
11 Josh Bassett
10 Jacob Umaga
9 Sam Wolstenholme
1 Tom West
2 Dan Frost
3 Biyi Alo
4 Sebastian de Chaves
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Alfie Barbeary
7 Brad Shields
8 Tom Willis

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Gabriel Oghre
17 Robin Hislop
18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
19 Tim Cardall
20 Nizaam Carr
21 Thomas Young
22 Will Porter
23 Francois Hougaard

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