After a tough start to the season, Wasps’ injury woes look to be coming to an end, and fans feel the team to face Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday is the strongest side of the season so far.
With one win from five, Wasps sit one point above Leicester Tigers in tenth, but the initial signs early in the season are that they are going to be embroiled in a relegation battle with the Tigers and Saracens after the champions were handed a 35-point deduction.
However, there seems to be a lot of confidence that Dai Young’s side can get a much-needed win over a Quins side that have some injury issues themselves.
We've waited a long time to see Willis and Young in the same back row. They could cause havoc. Launchbury back as expected so that's huge.
Some interesting calls in the backline, delighted to see Umaga start and Sopoaga is not even on the bench ? https://t.co/jgyzpeDfnP
— Rob Sutton (@RobSutton22) December 20, 2019
That's a team that can win this match. I'm looking forward to this! First trip to the Ricoh this season. Can't wait ?
— Ian T (@BeardyWasp) December 20, 2019
A foot injury keeps Brad Shields on the sideline still, while Lima Sopoaga is also ill, but captain Joe Launchbury makes his first Premiership appearance following a calf injury. Moreover, a back row comprising of Thomas Young and Jack Willis is perhaps most intriguing for Wasps fans, as injuries have prevented them from starting alongside one another for well over a year.
— Hamish Percy (@hamish_percy) December 20, 2019
We can't put out a much stronger team than that. Playing at home against the old rivals and in desperate need of the points. Let's see what we're about. #COYW
— Gareth Hopley (@GarethTheHop) December 20, 2019
Willis missed much of last season with an ACL injury, and has since had an ankle injury and recently a knee infection, while the Welshman has only returned in the past few weeks after missing much of 2019 with a hip injury.
This is about as strong a team as I’ve seen all season
— Mark Hill ? (@Chillkram) December 20, 2019
That is a really strong looking 23… let’s hope we can get a much needed win tomorrow
— Jon Fowell (@jonfowell5) December 20, 2019
Young has long been a fan-favourite at the Ricoh following years of omnipresent performances in the seven shirt. Willis is tipped as Wasps’ brightest hope and an England international in the making, and with both players fit, the impact it will have on their team cannot be underestimated.
While the term ‘must-win’ should not necessarily be thrown about at this stage of the season, Wasps fans are seeing this as winnable, and an opportunity to start the process of working up the Premiership table.
Wasps (First-team appearances)
15 Matteo Minozzi (5)
14 Zach Kibirige (10)
13 Malakai Fekitoa (8)
12 Michael Le Bourgeois (24)
11 Marcus Watson (38)
10 Jacob Umaga (14)
9 Dan Robson (106)
1 Ben Harris (53)
2 Tommy Taylor (57)
3 Kieran Brookes (28)
4 Joe Launchbury (c) (142)
5 Charlie Matthews (21)
6 Jack Willis (45)
7 Thomas Young (106)
8 Sione Vailanu (9)
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