Wasps recall for Van Gisbergen
Wasps v Llanelli Scarlets
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Heineken Cup, Causeway Stadium, Sunday December 18, KO 15.00PM, live on Sky Sports 2
A significant name appears in the starting XV for Wasps, as they look to avenge last week's lame defeat to the Scarlets.
Mark van Gisbergen is back in the familiar role of full back after Ian McGeechan's men were crying out for his kicking ability in the Stradey Park encounter.
Wasps threw away crucial points in the 21-13 defeat as Alex King struggled for accuracy on a foggy day in Wales.
Van Gisbergen's inclusion sees Josh Lewsey move to outside centre, renewing his intriguing midfield partnership with fellow England man Stuart Abbott.
King keeps his place in the starting line-up at fly half, and he will look to dictate proceedings alongside scrum half Eoin Reddan.
Reddan's inclusion inevitably means Matt Dawson starts on the bench, as McGeechan demands higher standards from his side.
'It is very important for us to be playing the quality of rugby that we aspire to on Sunday. Its going to be a very good test for us facing Llanelli again, after they played very well against us last weekend," said the Scot.
Llanelli Scarlets boss Gareth Jenkins has opted to stick with the same side that so comprehensively beat Wasps a week ago.
The English champions struggled to get any type of stranglehold on the match at Stradey Park, and Jenkins will hope that his team can do a similar job on Ian McGeechan's men this time around.
However, the Scarlets coach is expecting to be faced with a very different opposition at the Causeway Stadium.
"We need to win to have a realistic chance of qualifying through this group. We know Wasps are wounded and they'll bring huge intensity and physicality to the game," said Jenkins.
"But let's face it, they lost away. The challenge is ours this week and if we don't come away with a win we'll throw away all the hard work. We've earnt ourselves a chance to qualify, we don't want to blow it."
Llanelli are only three points behind Pool leaders Toulouse thanks to last week's win, and they know that victory is vital in London.
The only two changes come on the bench, where Martyn Madden and Jon Mills come into contention ahead of Ricky Davies and Chris Wyatt.
Wasps team: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Josh Lewsey, 12 Stuart Abbott, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Alex King, 9 Eoin Reddan, 1 Alistair McKenzie, 2 Raphael Ibanez, 3 Tim Payne, 4 Simon Shaw, 5 George Skivington, 6 John Hart, 7 Jonny O'Connor, 8 Lawrence Dallaglio (c)
Replacements: 16 Jonny Barrett, 17 Jon Dawson, 18 Richard Birkett, 19 Tom Rees, 20 Matt Dawson, 21 Rob Hoadley, 22 Ayoola Erinle
Llanelli Scarlets team: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Mark Jones, 13 Matthew Watkins, 12 Dafydd James, 11 Garan Evans, 10 Gareth Bowen, 9 Dwayne Peel, 1 Dorian Williams, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 John Davies, 4 Hottie Louw, 5 Adam Jones, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 7 Alix Popham, 8 Gavin Thomas
Replacements: Martyn Madden, Aled Gravelle, Inoke Afeaki, Jon Mills, Clive Stuart-Smith, Mike Hercus, Barry Davies.
|(-13) Wasps 10/11 v Llanelli 10/11 - |
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