New-look Wasps ready for Wycombe bow

Wasps are back at Adams Park on Sunday

Wasps are back at Adams Park on Sunday

First published in Sport by

WASPS return to Adams Park on Sunday for the first time since their 30-29 victory over Stade Francais on May 18.

They play London Welsh in a 2.30pm ko, and are likely to be vastly changed since their last run out in Wycombe.

Dai Young has been busy this summer, shipping out an entire team and replacing them with fresh blood.

He said at the end of last season he hoped to improve his squad by 30 per cent during the close season, and on paper there certainly appears to be the potential for those sorts of gains with some stand-out names on the list of incomings.

Sale pair Rob Miller and James Gaskell were both announced at the start of the recruitment process.

They will both play a lot of first team rugby this season and should improve the team when they do, while Bradley Davies has arrived to share the load with Joe Launchbury and add knarly know-how in the second row.

They could establish themselves as the stand out combination in their position this season, while James Yapp and Lorenzo Cittadini will add depth to a front row that made dramatic gains last season.

Behind the pack, Scottish international fly half Ruaridh Jackson will put Andy Goode under real pressure.

Alapati Leiua could turn out to be one of the signings of the year in the centres, but Wasps should also benefit from Elliot Daly’s development in his favoured 13 shirt, now the experiment with full back can be jettisoned.

Outside him a fit-again Christian Wade needs to show the levels he reached before injury while Johan Holmes’ return from a season-long loan at Leeds is also good news for Wasps fans.

He and Tom Howe excelled in the LV=Cup last season and will a stride behind Wade and Tom Varndell should either drop off the pace at all.

Whether all this will be enough to add up to 30 per cent, and whether 30 per cent is enough to break into the top six remains to be seen.

Saracens, Leicester and Northampton are still a long way ahead of Wasps. Bath and Harlequins are also further down the road but possibly within striking distance if everything goes exactly to plan for Wasps.

Otherwise it seems as if they, Sale, Exeter, Gloucester and London Irish will fight for sixth place this season.

After finishing 11th, eighth and seventh in Young’s first three seasons, sixth and maybe some silverware is the next step along.

Read Sunday’s match report after the whistle at www.bucksfreepress.co.uk

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:49am Fri 15 Aug 14

Garrob says...

C'mon he Welsh!!
C'mon he Welsh!! Garrob
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree