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Worcester Warriors get double Lions boost as they face Wasps

By Kim Ekin

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Worcester Warriors will welcome back British and Irish Lions pair Rory Sutherland and Duhan van der Merwe for tomorrow’s Gallagher Premiership match against Wasps at Sixways.

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Loosehead Sutherland has recovered from the side muscle injury that kept him out of Scotland’s Autumn Nations Series matches and will make his first Warriors start since October 22.

Wing van der Merwe, who was forced to drop out of last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle at Kingston Park because of a strained neck sustained while on international duty, has also regained fitness. The 6’4, 106kg winger will start against Wasps as one of six changes to the lineup.

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Melani Nanai has recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained in round three against Gloucester Rugby and will start on the right wing in place of Alex Hearle, who had a dead leg at Newcastle.

In the second row Graham Kitchener returns in place of his younger brother Andrew

England centre Ollie Lawrence returns to the matchday squad as a replacement having recovered from the calf injury he suffered in the win over Sale Sharks five weeks ago.

Lee Blackett has named his side to travel to Sixways to face Worcester Warriors in Gallagher Premiership Round 10 on Saturday.

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There are four personnel changes and one positional switch from Wasps’ last game against Gloucester.

Marcus Watson returns at full back, after being a late withdrawal against the Cherry and Whites.

WORCESTER WARRIORS: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Francois Venter (CC), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Rory Sutherland, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Christian Judge, 4 Matt Garvey, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Ted Hill (CC), 8 Sione Vailanu.

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Ollie Lawrence.

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WASPS: 15 Marcus Watson, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Alex McHenry, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter, 1 Robin Hislop, 2 Dan Frost, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 4 Vaea Fifita, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Brad Shields, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Tom Willis

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Tom West, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Alfie Barbeary, 22 Sam Wolstenholme, 23 Matteo Minozzi

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