Wasps have named their team to play London Irish at the Ricoh Arena in the Aviva Premiership this Saturday.

Ruaridh Jackson and Joe Simpson form the half-back pairing, while Josh Bassett comes in on the wing for Frank Halai. Ashley Johnson starts at hooker, with Edd Shervington covering on the bench. Carlo Festuccia sits out the game with a sore neck.

The only other change to the starting XV sees Thomas Young at open-side, alongside no. 8 Nathan Hughes and skipper James Haskell, with George Smith rested. Sam Jones comes onto the bench.

Ahead of Wasps’ must-win game, Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young said: "Both clubs will be determined to end this season on a high. London Irish are a talented side, who will have a real collectiveness this week as they look to get the win at the Ricoh Arena. We certainly won’t be underestimating Irish and the challenge they will pose. We need to make sure we do our job and get the win.

"We know it’s out of our hands whether or not we get a home Semi Final. We can’t control events at the Stoop, so we need to focus on getting our performance right on Saturday to at least give us a shot at securing that home Semi Final."

London Irish Head Coach Tom Coventry has made five changes for the Aviva Premiership fixture .

Greig Tonks makes his first start for the Club at full back in the only change in the back line from last weekend, replacing Sean Maitland. Johnny Harris and Ben Franks are both named in the front row alongside David Paice. Joe Trayfoot and Ofisa Treviranus line-up in the back row alongside Captain Luke Narraway."It has been an incredibly tough week for everyone at the Club, but the boys are motivated and keen to end the season on a high note," said Head Coach Tom Coventry, who takes on a Wasps side needing a victory to secure a home play-off semi-final.

"Wasps have had a great year and they will be desperate to get the points, but our guys are ready to go up there and wear the green jersey with pride."We’ve looked at the video from last week’s game and we’ve spoken about the areas in which we want to improve going into this weekend. It’s important the lads are prepared and ready to put in a good performance," added Coventry.

Commenting on his team selection, Coventry said: "We have selected a side that we believe can perform at a high level against a team that have had a very good season, regardless of what is at stake in tomorrow’s fixture."A Wasps victory would see them looking out for the Exeter result to check if their efforts could be rewarded with a home semi-final for the first time since 2008.Wasps have lost their last two matches, against Saracens in the Champions Cup and Exeter in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

London Irish’s only victory in the last ten rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was 23-18 at home to Gloucester on 20th March. The Exiles are the only side in Premiership Rugby this season to have lost all ten away games so far.

Wasps are unbeaten in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures against London Irish and recorded a try bonus on each occasion. The Exiles have won only once on Wasps soil since 2006: 23-20 at Adams Park in February 2014.

– Entry was posted on May 7th, 2016 by James Haskell

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