RUGBY UNION - Wasps change two ahead of Toulouse trip - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Wasps change two ahead of Toulouse trip

WASPS have made two personnel and two positional changes ahead of their match European Champions Cup match in Toulouse with Vaea Fifita and Francois Hougaard returning to the starting lineup.


Lee Blackett’s side were beaten 35-14 by Munster in their opening European fixture and face reigning champions Toulouse at the Stade Ernest-Wallon on Sunday afternoon.


The club successfully appealed and overturned captain Brad Shields red card and ban which means the skipper is available and switches to blindside flanker.


Fifita and Hougaard return to the starting lineup, with Fifita in the second row and Hougaard on the right wing with both players set to make their Champions Cup debuts.


Alfie Barbeary starts at number eight whilst Thomas Young completes the back row at openside flanker.


Tom West and Biyi Alo are the starting props and pack down alongside hooker Dan Frost with Fifita joined by Tim Cardall in the second row.


Hougaard is the only change to the backs and is joined in the back three by Luke Mehson and Zach Kibirige who switches to full-back.


Michael Le Bourgeois and Josh Bassett form the centre partnership whilst Sam Wolstenholme is at scrum half, to form the half-back partnership with Jimmy Gopperth.


Elsewhere, on the bench, Rob Miller returns from injury and is joined by Will Porter and Alex McHenry as the backs replacements – with the latter in-line to make his Champions Cup debut.


Michael van Vuuren, Robin Hislop, Pieter Scholtz, Kieran Curran and Nizaam Carr are the other forwards in reserve.


Wasps starting XV

15 Zach Kibirige

14 Francois Hougaard

13 Josh Bassett

12 Michael Le Bourgeois

11 Luke Mehson

10 Jimmy Gopperth

9 Sam Wolstenholme

1 Tom West

2 Dan Frost

3 Biyi Alo

4 Vaea Fifita

5 Tim Cardall

6 Brad Shields (C)

7 Thomas Young

8 Alfie Barbeary



16 Michael van Vuuren

17 Robin Hislop

18 Pieter Scholtz

19 Kieran Curran

20 Nizaam Carr

21 Will Porter

22 Rob Miller

23 Alex McHenry


Unavailable (24): Charlie Atkinson, Ali Crossdale, Tom Cruse, Sebastian de Chaves, Malakai Fekitoa, James Gaskell, Ben Harris, Joe Launchbury, Elliot Millar-Mills, Ryan Mills, Matteo Minozzi, Ben Morris, Paolo Odogwu, Gabriel Oghre, Dan Robson, Will Simonds, Sam Spink, Elliott Stooke, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Jacob Umaga, Theo Vukasinovic, Marcus Watson, Jack Willis, Tom Willis.


Wasps clash with Toulouse takes place on Sunday, December 19 with kick-off at 3.15pm (UK time) at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.

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