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Team news: Big changes for Wasps

Team news: Big changes for Wasps
By PA Sport

03/03/2012 at 03:32Updated 03/03/2012 at 03:36

Team news ahead of the weekend's Aviva Premiership fixtures.


Bath v Worcester

Bath make just two changes from the side that secured victory over Exeter as they prepare to host Worcester in this West Country derby. Both changes come in the front row as props Charlie Beech and Duncan Bell come in for Nathan Catt and Anthony Perenise.

Worcester bring Tom Arscott into their side on the wing as Chris Pennell reverts to full-back. Ed Shervington starts at hooker while a virus sees lock James Percival ruled out and Craig Gillies handed a starting role. Back-rower Kai Horstmann could make a first league appearance since September off the bench.

Exeter v Sale

Exeter make two changes from their defeat to Bath. Lock James Hanks returns to the starting line-up in place of Peter Short while Bryan Rennie is rewarded for an impressive display for the Chiefs' second string earlier in the week by getting the nod ahead of Nic Sestaret in the centre.

Scotland international Richie Vernon starts in the back row for Sale after being released from international duty. Injury to Andrei Ostrikov sees James Gaskell move into the second row as Wame Lewaravu comes onto the bench.

Wasps v London Irish

Wasps director of Dai Young makes a quintet of changes for this London derby at Adams Park. Scrum-half Joe Simpson and hooker Rob Webber return from England duty while Sam Jones starts at number eight with Billy Vunipola out injured. Lock Marco Wentzel is another injury absentee so Richard Birkett takes his place and prop Simon McIntyre replaces Ben Broster.

London Irish make one enforced change as they look to arrest a run of three-straight Premiership defeats. Number eight Chris Hala'ufia's latest suspension, this time for 11 weeks for a dangerous tackle, sees Canada international Jebb Sinclair handed a start.


Leicester v Gloucester

Leicester are boosted by the return of England half-back duo Ben Youngs and Toby Flood for this crucial fixture, while giant Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi is back after a two-week injury lay-off. The only other change sees Graham Kitchener start in the second row.

In-form Gloucester will hand a first Premiership start of the season to centre Tim Molenaar as injuries rule out Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu (knee) and Henry Trinder (jaw). Wing Tom Voyce and scrum-half Dave Lewis come in for James Simpson-Daniel and Rory Lawson respectively while Brett Deacon starts in a re-jigged back row as Akapusi Qera drops to the bench.

Saracens v Northampton

Lock Steve Borthwick returns from injury to lead Saracens while Charlie Hodgson starts at fly-half with fellow England international Matt Stevens on the bench. Duncan Taylor, James Short, Rhys Gill and Justin Melck also start, while scrum-half Peter Stringer makes the last appearance of his loan spell before moving to join Newcastle.

Northampton, who have won five of their last six in the league, have Phil Dowson returning to their back row from England duty, so Samu Manoa moves into the second row at the expense of Mark Sorenson. Behind the scrum Scott Armstrong is picked on the left wing ahead of Noah Cato.