21st Nov, 2018

Joe Simpson to make 200th Wasps appearance against European giants Toulouse

RUGBY UNION: Simpson has been selected to play at scrum half at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday alongside Danny Cipriani, Jimmy Gopperth lines up at 12, combining with Elliot Daly in the centre.

The back three of Kurtley Beale, Josh Bassett and Christian Wade remain unchanged and in the pack Joe Launchbury returns from a calf injury to captain the side and form a second row partnership with Kearnan Myall.

The same back row that faced Tigers last Sunday start this Saturday, with Nathan Hughes at number 8 and Thomas Young and Guy Thompson on the flanks.

Matt Mullan and Marty Moore again start in Wasps’ front row, joined by Ashley Johnson at hooker. Tommy Taylor has not passed the final return to play protocol following his HIA last Sunday and sits out the game, with Edd Shervington named on the bench as cover. Frank Halai also joins the replacements, with Rob Miller sidelined by an ankle injury.

“These are the big games players dream of competing in,” said Young. “A must-win clash against the four-time European Champions, in front of a big home crowd, with a place in the European Quarter-Finals on the line.

“We have enjoyed our run in the Aviva Premiership, but that will count for nothing as we return to Europe, in what is ultimately a Cup Final for us, with three teams tied on 13 points in Pool 2.

“Toulouse are one of the true giants in European Rugby. Nothing short of an 80-minute performance will be good enough against a team full of internationals. We were pleased with the draw in Toulouse, but we need to back that up with a home win on Saturday. It’s a fantastic challenge and one that we are all relishing.”

Wasps team to play Toulouse:

15. Kurtley Beale

14. Christian Wade

13. Elliot Daly

12. Jimmy Gopperth

11. Josh Bassett

10. Danny Cipriani

9. Joe Simpson

1. Matt Mullan

2. Ashley Johnson

3. Marty Moore

4. Joe Launchbury (c)

5. Kearnan Myall

6. Thomas Young

7. Guy Thompson

8. Nathan Hughes

Replacements

16. Edd Shervington

17. Simon McIntyre

18. Phil Swainston

19. Matt Symons

20. James Gaskell

21. Dan Robson

22. Kyle Eastmond

23. Frank Halai

Another large crowd is expected at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday, so fans are encouraged to arrive early to collect their tickets to avoid queues. The Wasps Nest Fan Village in the Ericsson Hall will open at 12.30.

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