Lauchbury and Mullan beef up pack ahead of Gloucester battle

Bucks Free Press: Joe Launchbury Joe Launchbury

WASPS will welcome back England internationals Joe Launchbury and Matt Mullan as they prepare for a full-frontal assault from Gloucester in Sunday’s Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final at Adams Park.

Matches between the two clubs are generally free-flowing affairs, and Young expects the same thing this weekend – but only after the argument up front has been settled.

He said: “We’re going to have to try and get some dominance up front. I believe that’s an area they’ll come at us.

“Last week was the first game we conceded driving line-outs and I’d have thought Gloucester, looking at that, will try their luck early doors.

“They’ll certainly test us in the scrum and it’s up to us in the first 20 minutes to demonstrate that they’re not going to get any joy that way.

“Hopefully we’ll get some dominance there and play the game in the right areas. That doesn’t mean kicking the leather off it, but we want to be building pressure in their half rather than defending for long periods in our half.”

However, matches between Wasps and Gloucester aren’t usually stolid and scruffy.

Young said: “They’re always exciting games. Sometimes defence hasn’t been on top, with attack coming to the fore, but we tend to bring the best out of each other.

“It’s two teams that want to play rugby. The weather is starting to make it a little easier to play the rugby both teams want to so I’m expecting a pretty high scoring game and a very attractive game to watch.

“Gloucester had a difficult start to the season but recovered and have got a bit of momentum now, and you’ve only got to look at their line-up to know they’re a quality team.

“We’re going to have to be accurate and defend well, but we’re at home and if we can play like we have I’m sure the result will come our way.”

The winners will host either Bath or Brive at the end of April.

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