Wasps RFC team news: James Haskell and Joe Launchbury return for Bath match
England forwards James Haskell and Joe Launchbury return to Wasps’ starting pack for tomorrow’s Ricoh Arena showdown with Bath.
Tomorrow's match comes after last weekend's disappointing 26-21 defeat in the Aviva Premiership opener against Harlequins.
“It was a frustrating performance at The Stoop,” Young said, “but we’ve had a real boost this week having most of our internationals back. They have enjoyed being back, too, and they add some extra experience to the group.
“You win things with a squad, not just three or four players. We have 28 games on the bounce now after the late start and the teams that tend to get to the top of the league are the ones that don’t just have the best 15 but also the best overall squad.
“Our squad will be tested through the season, and the internationals won’t play every game, but over the next couple of weeks we’re likely to see full-strength teams across the board."
Young added: “Bath will also have the majority of their internationals back for this match and it doesn’t get much tougher in the league than facing a side who deservedly reached the Premiership Final last season.
“We’ve got a lot of new players, and when some have only been with you a week or two, they’re not going to get everything 100-per-cent But at this stage of the season you’ve got to get your best players on the field, and hope they pick up as much as they can as quickly as possible.
“We turned the Ricoh into a bit of a fortress last season, and did really well there, so it’s important we start the same way this year. We want teams fearing coming there, and we don’t want them going away with anything."
Young continued: “It’s a big match for us, playing against last year’s finalists, and we know it’s going to be a tough game, which is what you want at this stage of the season.
“We never clicked at all at Quins. We never got going in attack, we played laterally but between the two 15 metre lines, so we didn’t get any width on the game, stretch Quins’ defence and give our talented runners enough space to operate. We need to stretch Bath, and play with more penetration.
“In defence we need more bite; we are giving away too many easy points, at this stage averaging over 20 points per game, which is putting a lot of pressure on our attack, so we need to be meaner.”
Wasps RFC team to face Bath
Rob Miller; Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Frank Halai; Jimmy Gopperth, Joe Simpson; Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, James Gaskell, James Haskell (captain), George Smith, Nathan Hughes.
Replacements: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Lorenzo Cittadini, Kearnan Myall, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Ruaridh Jackson, Sailosi Tagicakibau.
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