Game Thread: Champions Cup-Wasps vs Ulster (Incl. Team news)
January 19 2018
The Springbok international, who limped off in the early stages of his club’s Premiership defeat by Saracens a fortnight ago, partners Kyle Eastmond in the home midfield.
Director of rugby Dai Young has made one further change to the matchday 23 that lost to Harlequins last week, with former England U20 flanker Jack Willis replacing the suspended James Haskell.
Hookers Tom Cruse and Ashley Johnson swap bench and starting roles, as do openside flankers Guy Thompson and Thomas Young.
Thompson and Willis are joined in the back row for a final time by Nizaam Carr, who is shortly to return to Cape Town following the end of his successful loan spell in Coventry.
Looking ahead to the round six clash, director of rugby Dai Young said his team must focus on delivering an improved all-round performance.
“Plenty always goes on during the final weekend of the European Cup pool stages,” he said, “but we have to concentrate on our game with Ulster, pure and simple.
“We have plenty to put right from the last few weeks, and have been working hard on those things in training.
“We can only control events at the Ricoh. A number of things must happen for us to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals, but it all starts with us beating Ulster.
15. Willie Le Roux
14. Christian Wade
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Kyle Eastmond
11. Marcus Watson
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Dan Robson
1. Simon McIntyre
2. Tom Cruse
3. Jake Cooper-Woolley
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5. James Gaskell
6. Jack Willis
7. Guy Thompson
8. Nizaam Carr
16. Ashley Johnson
17. Ben Harris
18. Marty Moore
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Thomas Young
21. Joe Simpson
22. Rob Miller
23. Brendan Macken
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There are just three personnel changes and two positional switches to the starting XV that registered an impressive 20-13 win versus La Rochelle last weekend.
Darren Cave, Kieran Treadwell and Kyle McCall are the three new faces included by the Ulster coaching team.
With Craig Gilroy ruled out after fracturing his cheekbone against the French, Cave is selected at outside centre, with Louis Ludik moving to occupy the right wing berth.
Christian Lealiifano has been named at flyhalf for what will be his final game before returning to play Super Rugby for the Brumbies. John Cooney, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale and Charles Piutau will complete the backline.
Treadwell's inclusion at lock alongside Alan O'Connor results in Iain Henderson moving to the back row next to Sean Reidy and Nick Timoney. Rory Best will be flanked by McCall and Rodney Ah You in the front row.
Wiehahn Herbst has recovered from a calf injury sustained against Leinster earlier this month and is named among the replacements. Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Matty Rea and Chris Henry are the other forwards in the squad.
Rob Lyttle, who scored two tries for Ulster A in a bonus point win over Cornish Pirates last weekend, has earned a place on the bench alongside Dave Shanahan and Johnny McPhillips.
A bonus-point victory would confirm Ulster as group winners, regardless of La Rochelle's result against bottom side Harlequins, while a win of any nature would see Ulster progress as one of the best runners up.
The match will be televised on BT Sport, with live radio commentary on BBC Radio Ulster and RTE Radio.
Ulster team to play Wasps
(15-9): C Piutau; L Ludik, D Cave, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; C Lealiifano, J Cooney;
(1-8): K McCall, R Best (captain), R Ah You, A O'Connor, K Treadwell, I Henderson, S Reidy, N Timoney;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, W Herbst, M Rea, C Henry, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, R Lyttle.
I know it requires us to get a 5 pointer, but what other results have to go our way?
Not sure what happens if Quins do is a favour and win, we win and finish level on points with La Rochelle?
Just looked on the Ulster message board and one of their posters thinks we would be a "mid table pro 14 side". Quite interesting, I would say that even with the changes their league is fairly weak, and rather boring, and to be fair still a worse competition when you look at our league and the Top14. I think we would do better in that league than that poster thinks!
I bet there are a fair few Ulster fans wishing that we had rested a few players though.
I am angry, actually throughout the week I have got angrier! Angry that we capitulated last week, angry we are likely out of the tournament, angry that we should of corrected our defensive deficiencies far earlier, and we may well of had to of waited until last weekend and experience the pain we all had to experience to try to get a reaction!
We can turn anger to positivity, we can channel it to make results possible! We can use it to shed the weak, reinforce the strong and catapult ourselves into a true tilt for the premiership title!
Sunday is a big chance to benefit for 3 reasons!
PASSION for the badge
PERFORMANCE to show others when we meet our standards we can beat anyone!
MOMENTUM! Smash the Ulsterman, let the ferocity of our defence and attack resonate beyond the 80 and ricochet off the walls and stands of every other team that face us! let us springboard towards the league!
WE, players, coaches, backroom staff, supporters can do this! Let us make Sunday a day to remember, look back on and celebrate!!!
COME ON WASPS!......WE are Wasps!!!!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:19:22:31:14 by wombles222.
We'll assume we get 5 and Ulster 0 tomorrow, the previous game was 19-9 to Ulster, no bonus points. Therefore we top the group 5-4.
The problem is La Rochelle. If they get a losing bonus point tomorrow, then they'll have the same points as both us and Ulster.
I have no idea what happens in a 3 way tie.
The same rules don't seem to apply because we have a better record than Ulster. LaR have a better record than us, and it's possible (I haven't checked) that Ulster could have a better record than LaR.
It's probably all academic anyway, but I'm still holding out some hope
La Rochelle would be on 11
Wasps on 10
Ulster on 8