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- Aviva Premiership
- 1st Mar 2013
- KO 20:00
- Ground: Sixways Stadium
- Att: 9,214
Worcester v London Wasps - Aviva Premiership preview
Centre Jon Clarke is recalled to the starting line-up for Worcester as they face London Wasps in the Aviva Premiership on Friday.
Clarke replaces Josh Matavesi who moves to the replacements bench as Head Coach Richard Hill makes a total of four changes to this side. Neil Best is named at blindside flanker and will partner Matt Kvesic and Blair Cowan in the back row.
Chris Pennell returns to wear the No.15 jersey with Errie Claassens ruled out after being given a one game ban following his red card at Gloucester last week. With Pennell moving to full back, Josh Drauniniu is named on the wing.
Meanwhile, there are four changes from the London Wasps side that lost to London Irish last weekend, split evenly with two in the backline and two in the pack.
In the backs, Andrea Masi returns from international duty with Italy to take his place at outside centre, pushing Elliot Daly to the wing to replace Christian Wade, who picked up a knock last weekend.
The other back change is a straight swap at fly-half, with Nick Robinson given the starting ten shirt and Stephen Jones named among the replacements.
The two changes to the forwards both come in the front row. Both Tim Payne and Phil Swainston return to the starting lineup for Friday night's game, replacing Zak Taulafo and Will Taylor, who both take places on the bench.
James Haskell is not available for selection having not been able to train this week due to a leg strain.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Jon Clarke, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 John Andress, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Josh Matavesi.
Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Elliot Daly, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Zak Taulafo , 18 Will Taylor, 19 Alex Rae, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Charlie Hayter.
What they said...
Worcester Head Coach Richard Hill
"It is vital we keep the faith and know that if we keep playing and working hard then the win we all crave will come.
"It would be fantastic to record a good win in front of our fans and the players have been working extremely hard. Far from being down, recent events have only galvanised our squad.
"I watched Wasps play against Gloucester at home recently when they performed very well and they are undoubtedly a talented team that plays with a lot of width.
"They are very dangerous out wide, with Tom Varndell and Christian Wade lethal, and you have got to cope with their big runners who give them go forward.
"We have to cut off the supply line to the wingers because they are the top two try scorers in the league and if we let them have space they will hurt us."
Wasps lock Marco Wentzel
"There are not many sides that go up to Sixways on a Friday night and come away with a win.
"We have a short turnaround, coming out of a Sunday game into a Friday game, and if we are not fully on our game then we are going to struggle.
"They (Worcester) are very good at grinding you down, they are good in defence and have a good kicking game, so there is no doubt that they are going to make it very hard for us.
"If we want to play our brand of rugby, then we are going to have to do the hard yards first."
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|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com