Northampton Saints v Wasps – Team News
Dai Young says Wasps must start replicating their European form in the Aviva Premiership, starting with Friday's trip to Northampton.
Wasps demolished Leinster 51-10 to secure a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup and Young wants to see that form to continue against Northampton Saints in Franklin's Gardens on Friday night - a ground where they've failed to register a win in over 10 years.
"We were all really pleased last weekend, not only with the result, but with the performance which saw us secure a European home quarter-final," said Young. "But now we return to the Aviva Premiership knowing that we have to bring that form into the domestic competition.
"There are no easy games in this league but a Friday night at Franklin's Gardens is right up there with the hardest. We haven't won there as a club since 2005 and we know exactly how tough a challenge it will be."
Back row Alex Rieder will debut for Wasps in the absence of the injured Sam Jones and James Haskell, who is retained by England ahead of the start of the Six Nations, while George Smith captains the side.
Jake Cooper-Woolley and Nathan Hughes, who both made appearances from the bench in last weekend's win over Leinster, are promoted to the starting line-up.
Northampton secured a Champions Cup quarter-final berth after a 22-10 final group game victory over Scarlets at the weekend.
"We've got a batch of 10 games back-to-back in the Premiership now," said Tom Wood. "It's pretty relentless and attritional.
"We're going to have to use our full squad but having been on the other side of it, away with England or periods of time, I know this period is really crucial.
"It's up to us guys who are back here now to really hold down the fort for the lads and make sure we're in a really strong position when they arrive back."
Northampton Saints: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Jamie Elliott ,13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Tom Kessell; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Mikey Haywood, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Michael Paterson, 5 Victor Matfield, 6 Tom Wood (c), 7 Teimana Harrison, 8 Sam Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 James Craig, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 James Wilson.
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 James Downey, 11 Josh Bassett,10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson; 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Edd Shervington, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 6 Alex Rieder, 7 George Smith (c), 8 Nathan Hughes.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Cannon, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Jamie Stevenson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.
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