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Dragons v Wasps - Amlin Challenge Cup match preview

Last updated: 17th January 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Elliott Daly Wasps scoring a try against Bayonne Amlin Challenge Cup

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Christian Wade Wasps 2012

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Dai Young has named a strong side for Wasps' final Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 3 match with Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Thursday night.

Wasps have already qualified for the last eight but will not be letting up as they try to secure a home quarter-final contest with a win in Wales.

Christian Wade comes back into the starting XV with Tom Varndell, who scored a hat-trick last time out against Mogliano, retained on the opposite wing.

Centre Elliot Daly, prop Zak Taulafo, lock Joe Launchbury and flanker Jonathan Poff all return to the side while the half-back partnership of Nick Robinson and Charlie Davies continues.

The Dragons are unable to qualify for the quarter-finals and have opted for a reshuffle in their pack, with only skipper Lewis Evans keeping his place following last week's defeat to Bayonne.

There are fewer changes among the backs, although Ashleigh Smith comes in for Andy Tuilagi in the centres and Dan Evans replaces Steffan Jones at fly-half.

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell (c), 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Zak Taulafo

Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 James Cannon, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Stephen Jones.

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Jonathan Evans 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.

Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Jack Dixon.

What they said...

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young

"I know better than most what a tough task we face down in Newport on Thursday night. They will be looking to disrupt our campaign in any way they can and they are a tough, dogged side who are well capable of doing that if we don't turn up and perform," he told Wasps' official website.

"We are delighted to have secured a place in the last eight but we believe securing home advantage is vitally important and that is our only focus."

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