Varndell returns for Quins clash
Tom Varndell returns to the London Wasps starting line-up after over three months out with injury to hand a boost to Dai Young’s side ahead of a trip to neighbours Harlequins on Saturday.
Varndell and Wade are back on the wings
Varndell takes his place on the wing opposite Christian Wade, who returned from his own lay-off to good effect last week, with Richard Haughton making up a pacey back three for the High Wycombe based outfit.
In other changes to the side, flanker Jonathan Poff is back at open-side while Tim Payne and Tom Lindsay come back into the front row.
On the bench there is also another injury returnee with Chris Mayor providing backs cover, while Lee Robinson and Billy Vunipola are come in as replacements.
Stalwart lock Richard Birkett captains the side in the absence of Hugo Southwell who is out with an arm injury picked up last week.
Director of Rugby Dai Young had special praise for Varndell, Wade and Mayor who have worked hard to come back from injury.
“Those guys have worked their socks off to get back when it would have been easy for them to write this season off and come back next year. That shows how much playing for Wasps means to them and they deserve praise for doing everything they could have to get back and make an impact before the end of the season after a lot of hard work.”
London Wasps team to play Harlequins, Saturday April 14, 16.30 KO
15. Richard Haughton
14. Christian Wade
13. Elliot Daly
12. Ryan Davis
11. Tom Varndell
10. Nick Robinson
9. Charlie Davies
1. Tim Payne
2. Tom Lindsay
3. Ben Broster
4. James Cannon
5. Richard Birkett ( c)
6. Joe Launchbury
7. Jonathan Poff
8. Sam Jones
16. Vladislav Korshunov
17. Zac Taulafo
18. Simon McIntyre
19. Ross Filipo
20. Billy Vunipola
21. Lee Robsinson
22. Chris Mayor
23. Jack Wallace
Is Jonah Holmes injured? Strange not to have a sub scrum half on the bench and I guess Prydie picked up a knock as I'd rather have him than Lee Robinson on the bench. Otherwise a cracking looking first 15. Great to see TV2 and Chris Mayor back
What a great team - probably the strongest team we have been able to put out this side of Christmas break.
I would of liked to have seen Wallace at full-back, he had a great 20 or so minutes against Biarritz.
I don't have any problems with Haughton though, he is a great counter attacker, I just hope he chooses to run it back rather than kick (which he does run 9 times from 10) as I don't fancy Brown attacking from deep.
The restart will be key area this weekend, we were poor there last week leading to a 'try'. I would say Monye is a specialist in this area, he uses his speed to get into at the face of the catcher every single time; more often than not comes away with a penalty for not releasing as well.
I can't wait to see Varndell running around in Black and Gold this weekend. I feel he has really bought into the Wasps style of playing with commitment but would love to see him come inside hunting for the ball like Ashton of old - which he did start to do more before his injury.
The breakdown will be an interesting watch this weekend with Wasps rarely putting much pressure on opposition 9 I am glad to see the terrier that is Poff.
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