London Wasps v Bayonne - Amlin Challenge Cup match preview

Last Updated: 13/12/12 7:24pm

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Sky Bet

England forward James Haskell will captain Wasps in Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash against Bayonne at Adams Park.

Wasps sit one point above Bayonne in the race for one quarter-final place from Pool Three. The teams drew 13-13 in France last weekend.

The Aviva Premiership club are boosted by the return of fly-half Stephen Jones, prop Tim Payne, lock Tom Palmer and back-row forward Billy Vunipola all returning to the side.

Elliot Daly, meanwhile, starts at full-back because skipper Hugo Southwell is sidelined by a hamstring strain suffered in Bayonne.

The Bayonne line-up includes former New Zealand wing Joe Rokocoko, ex-French international star Cedric Heymans, current Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips and Australian lock Mark Chisholm.

With Pool Three games to come against Newport Gwent Dragons and Mogliano next month, Wasps know victory on Thursday is essential in their quarter-final quest.

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 1 Tim Payne, 2 Tom Lindsay, 3 Zak Taulafo, 4 James Cannon, 5 Tom Palmer, 6 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell (c), 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Jonathan Poff, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Tommy Bell

Bayonne: Tbc

What they said...

Wasps rugby director David Young

"I was delighted with the commitment shown by the team in France last weekend, and I am looking for more of the same tomorrow night," said Young.

"It's a win-or-bust tie for Bayonne, who come to Adams Park knowing they have to get something from the game, but it's no different for us really. If we want to control our own destiny in this competition then we've got to win."

Wasps forward James Haskell

"They are a side with a lot of rugby rock stars in their team and they can turn it on and cause you a lot of problems on their day, so we've got to play pretty well to get this win," Haskell said.

"We want to progress in this competition, like every competition we are competing in, and we've put ourselves in a decent position. We need to just back it up this Thursday.

"I was lucky enough to be involved in a side that got to an Amlin Challenge Cup final with Stade Francais, and I know that progressing throughout a cup campaign can give you a lot of confidence."

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